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"What kinds of rhetorical strategies promote and impede value co-creation experience in the online collaborative innovative communities?": Case study:
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Business Administration.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The Internet facilitates the innovation between external stakeholders and companies. For this purpose, companies have constructed online platforms, which help to form collaborative communities. Currently, there are many remarkable firms that benefit from the “wisdom of the crowd”; nevertheless the most innovative one according to Forbes (2012) is whose IdeaExchange community became the case study for this research. Business science is still far away from understanding how value is co-created online but first steps have already been made. This thesis aims to contribute to the knowledge base in the co-creation area.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify the rhetorical strategiesemployed by customers in online collaborative innovative communities to co-create value and, based on findings, to construct the value co-creation model.

Methods: This study has a Qualitative Research Design with Netnography as a data collection method. Case study is used as the overall methodology approach. The dataset of this study consists of 2018 comments gathered from the case study community organized by To analyze the findings, Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis and Rhetorical Analysis were applied.

Results: The unique contribution of this study is that ten rhetorical strategies were identified based on Aristotle’s persuasive appeals, which are described in Analysis chapter. Additionally, the social functions of rhetoric for the online collaborative community are clarified. Also the rhetorical situation is described in relation to innovative communities where audience, exigencies and constraints are defined. Finally, the “Model of Value Co-Creation” is designed through the lens of identified rhetorical strategies.

Conclusion: The results show that value might not only be co-created but also impeded in the online collaborative communities. As the “Value co-creation model” illustrates, such rhetorical strategies as “Requesting Implementation”, “Advocating Strategy”, “Approving Strategy”, “Instructing Strategy”, and “Exploratory Strategy” indicate about a high demand of the discussed idea, meanwhile “Warning strategy” indicates that the idea contradicts to the personal values or the social norms therefore customers apply this rhetorical strategy to prevent the idea’s implementation. Additionally, such rhetorical strategy as “Self-governing Strategy” is usually employed by so-called “community officers” who take control that innovative ideas are not published twice. Moreover, “Advisory Strategy” mainly employed for interactions between community members with a purpose to share experience. Above mention rhetorical strategies indicate though in a different extend, about the customers’ empowerment and the value co-creation experience. However, this study identified two rhetorical strategies i.e. “Criticizing Strategy” and  “Provoking strategy” which reveal that value can be also impeded in the online collaborative communities. Mainly it happens because of a company’s ignorance of its customers’ needs and therefore might lead to the decreased customers’ motivation for the further involvement.

The results of this study offer a new way of understanding the value co-creation processes through the lens of the identified rhetorical strategies that are presented in the figure 4: “Model of Value Co-creation” (p. 48). Hence, it is an important addition to the literature on the customer satisfaction and value co-creation research. The practical purpose of this paper is to increase the ability of managers to analyze vast streams of data for better decisions and a better customer experience. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 60 p.
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099
Keyword [en]
Rhetorical Strategies, Value Co-creation, Online Collaborative Innovative Communities, Crowdsourcing
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-26526Local ID: FE:1OAI: diva2:608519
Subject / course
Business Administration
2013-01-21, 11A316, KARLSTADS UNIVERSITET, Universitetsgatan 2, 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden, Karlstad, 14:00 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-03-15 Created: 2013-02-27 Last updated: 2013-03-15Bibliographically approved

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