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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Global Marketing

For a Special Issue on
The Dark Side of Brand-Based Online Communities: The Role of Culture

Manuscript deadline
31 October 2022

Cover image - Journal of Global Marketing

Special Issue Editor(s)

Abhishek Behl, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India
[email protected]

Kokil Jain, Fortune Institute of International Business, New Delhi, India
[email protected]

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The Dark Side of Brand-Based Online Communities: The Role of Culture

The special issue aims at attracting manuscripts from scholars working on online brand community (OBC) members' heterogeneity, retaliatory behaviours, brand conflicts, rivalries and protests, oppositional brand loyalty, consumer schadenfreude in online brand communities within the imperceptible power of culture.

The last two decades have witnessed significant contributions from scholars extending the literature on online brand communities (OBCs). Built on technology-mediated communication, OBCs are specialized, non-geographically bound member groups of brand admirers and customers (Muniz & O'guinn, 2001). Symbolic to the fabric of relationships in which the customer is situated, online communities (McAlexander, Schouten & Koenig, 2002) manifest a high degree of connectedness with fellow members and the brand in question (Algesheimer, Dholakia & Herrmann, 2005). Members have diverse motivations to participate in an OBC, leading to conversations around their experiences, interactions, and brand usage, eventually leading to customer-generated value and word-of-mouth publicity. These conversations are somewhere symbolic of the members' loyalty, trust, and purchase intentions. Acknowledging the same, brands take the online community route to drive customer engagement (Dessart, Veloutsou & Morgan-Thomas, 2015).

Since the introduction of the idea of brand community by Muniz & O'guinn (2001), studies have extensively explored and examined the positive perspectives on online brand communities (OBCs). These studies have primarily focused on examining members' participatory behaviours and motivations to join an online brand community giving limited attention and focus to the dark side of community engagements. Not lovers always, customers are brand haters too. Consumer-owned communities formed by these brand haters are outcomes of retaliatory behaviours, originating from a bad experience with the brand. Such anti-brand communities propagate brand hate through speeches, conversations, derogatory remarks against the targeted brand. A noteworthy contribution in the field of the dark side is from Krishnamurthy & Kucuk (2009), addressing anti-branding and anti-consumption. Kucuk (2016; 2019 & 2020) adds credence by exploring online consumer power, brand hate, and reverse (brand)anthropomorphism to advance the investigation.

Despite the recent interest, the concept still lacks detailed exploration and a comprehensive examination. A very significant perspective missing in the published work is the role of culture in understanding and explaining the conflicts, rivalries, and schadenfreude amongst community members. The global nature of online-brand communities has been established to initiate a rich exchange of information. Still, this globality can also lead to rivalries emerging out of multi-representations of different cultures and nationalities. Some studies (Chandrasapth et al. 2021; Han & Nam, 2020; Husemann & Luedicke, 2013) have suggested exploring the transgressive conflicts in OBCs through the lens of culture, but there exists no significant work. It is critical to uncover the role of culture in providing answers to dark behaviours like cyber frauds, cyberloafing, over engagements, trolling, to name a few. How culture affects the very nature of the conflicts and what role does it play in how actors involved reacting to these conflicts is a pertinent and crucial view to be questioned and investigated. Also, research to understand the position of culture in nudging anti-brand behaviours and their dark side outcomes (anti-consumption and brand dilution) remains limitedly explored and scant.

Thus, it would be interesting and intriguing at the same time to explore how the member-driven dark behaviours in online brand communities render themselves an explanation through the central hook of culture.

The special issue aims to answer some key research questions:

  1. How can online brand communities lead to the deconstruction of brand meaning across multiple cultures?
  2. Can consumer-run online communities lead to brand dilution and negative consequences thereafter? Does culture play any role in this case?
  3. What role does culture play in members' anti-branding activities within online brand communities?
  4. What are cultural explicit unwanted brand-related outcomes of perceived group heterogeneity in an online brand community?
  5. What are the consequential cross-cultural outcomes of members' involvement in the brand identity and message creation process on brand ownership?
  6. What are the culture-induced implications for brand managers in response to the members' driven brand crisis and its effective management?

We welcome submissions to this special issue. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  1. Cultural typical Compulsive and addictive brand community behaviours
  2. Cultural comparisons of deconstruction of anti-brand community, online brand protests, and trolling
  3. Brand community disengagements and its entanglements across different cultures
  4. Cultural driven conflicts and outcomes between opinion leaders and members
  5. Members' cultural antagonism to democratic diffusion of thoughts and ideas in the community
  6. Cross-cultural dark side behaviours and outcomes in consumer-run Vs company managed brand communities.
  7. Culture influenced adverse results of gamification/game-based elements on brand community engagement.
  8. Role of analytics to identify country-specific information asymmetry and cyber frauds in the global online brand community
  9. Ethical paradoxes of using AI in managing online brand communities across different cultures

Submission Instructions

Select "special issue title" when submitting your paper to ScholarOne

Papers will be processed and placed in the double-blind review process as and when received before the deadline of October 31, 2022

Expected publication: 2023-24

Prepare a separate file with the title of the paper, authors' names, and affiliations. The authors' names or affiliations ought not to be referenced anywhere else in the main text of the manuscript to keep the integrity of the double-blind review process.

The main manuscript will be in a separate file which will be sent to the reviewers.

Please provide the title of your paper and an abstract on the first page of your manuscript.

The second page must begin with the title of the paper again before presenting the main text.

All figures and tables should be referenced in the text but placed at the end of the paper after the Reference section

Please contact Guest Editors if you have any questions.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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