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The impact of sellers' social influence on the co-creation of innovation with customers and brand awareness in online communities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr YiChuan Wang, Dr Nick Hajli


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This study integrates social influence theory, virtual community of practice, and practice-based approaches into a single theoretical model to examine the role of sellers’ social influence in B2B virtual communities in innovation collaborations with co-creating users, which in turn affects firms’ brand awareness in the marketplace. Specifically, its main goal is to unravel the relationships among social influence, co-innovation practices and industrial brand awareness in the B2B virtual community context. The model was tested using a dataset gathered via an online survey of four large-scale software-as-a-service (SaaS) forums in LinkedIn. Empirical findings from our survey of 190 business professionals in SaaS-based companies indicate that sellers’ social identity and social comparison are key activators for developing a series of co-innovation activates and co-innovation practices make potential customers more aware of company brands. The contributions of this study provide new insights into effective B2B social media marketing techniques by elaborating how to orchestrate innovation with virtual communities for boosting industrial brand awareness.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang Y, Hsiao S, Yang Z, Hajli N

Publication type: Article

Journal: Industrial Marketing Management

Year: 2016

Volume: 54

Pages: 56-70

Online publication date: 29/12/2015

Acceptance date: 16/12/2015

Print publication date: 01/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0019-8501

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2062

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2015.12.008


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