Consumer Involvement in Organizations in the “Organization as Communication” Perspective: a Multidisciplinary Research Agenda

Andreina Mandelli


This paper’s goal is to address the issue of how we can conceptualize and build a research agenda on customers’ involvement in organization, through consumer communities. Consumer communities have increased their importance in the last few years, following the diffusion of the use of the Internet by consumers, for business and brand-related activities. This issue is also particularly important in times characterized by the incredible success of the so-called social media, the media in which the user-generated content and user participation become central. This topic has been addressed in the literature on knowledge management and innovation management (within the narrative on communities of practice), and more recently in the literature in marketing (focused on brand communities). We argue that a more integrated and communication-based research agenda should be developed, so to uncover the complex interlink between these two processes (learning and brand building) in consumer communities, but also how they participate to the socio-cognitive and narrative constitution of the new complex and boundaryless organizations.


consumer communities, communities of practice, brand communities

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