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Never, never together again: How post purchase affect drives consumer outcomes within the context of online consumer support communities

Ghiyoung Im, PhD V. Storey R. Baskerville
Journal of the Association for Information Systems. February 1, 2019

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Online support communities are popular for consumers of information technology products who might need help identifying or resolving a problem. Information technology products, in general, have their own needs and requirements. Prior research has focused on the intermediate benefits of online support communities to companies, such as knowledge contribution and community participation. This study, in contrast, investigates the less explored issue of value creation by online support communities with respect to consumer postpurchase outcomes. To do so, we develop an affect (emotional) process model to understand how customers’ postpurchase outcomes of information technology products are influenced through cognitive and affective processes after a product failure. Special attention is paid to the roles of affect during the recovery process. An empirical assessment of the model uses two online support communities, with a netnography methodology employed for data collection. The results suggest that consumers’ postpurchase outcomes are influenced by affect and regulation, not just cognition. Key influences emerge as the consumers’ own problem appraisals and affective experiences, the consumers’ social group, and regulation provided by company technicians and/or community experts.