Paper info: BUILDING MARKET KNOWLEDGE TOGETHER: A NETNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF ONLINE OCCUPATIONAL COMMUNITIES
BUILDING MARKET KNOWLEDGE TOGETHER: A NETNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF ONLINE OCCUPATIONAL COMMUNITIES
Diego Rinallo, Francesca Golfetto and Stefania Borghini
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.
In this paper, we report findings from a netnographic investigation of a virtual community dedicated to the woodworking trade. Our findings show that by providing user-generated market-related knowledge, virtual occupational communities may play an important role in industrial buying behavior and contribute to the diffusion of positive and negative electronic word-of-mouth about products, suppliers and brands. Our paper thus contributes to research on the information sources employed during the industrial buying process, by highlighting the intense social exchanges among "colleagues in other companies" which are almost neglected by extant research. Moreover, we contribute to the literature on the role of the Internet in industrial marketing and purchasing by shedding light on the relevance and functioning of virtual communities of industrial buyers. Finally, we also contribute to research on the buying center, which has focused on internal dynamics within the buying center without examining patterns of external influence.