Online brand community: through the eyes of Self-Determination Theory

James B. Kelley, Dana L. Alden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper to use Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to explain the online brand community (OBC) identity internalization process through brand website interactivity. Secondary purpose of the research is to explore the role of several individual difference factors and brand-specific constructs in predicting brand website interactivity. Design/methodology/approach – This study proposes the OBC motivation development continuum of brand website interactivity. Thus, a national panel was collected by a reputable online survey firm and a structural equation model was used to test the proposed model. Findings – The authors examined four brand-related antecedents and mediators (brand engagement in self-concept, susceptibility of normative influence, opinion leadership, and consumer innovativeness) and found evidence of the differing roles that brand engagement in self-concept and purposive motives play as mediators to brand website interactivity. Practical implications – Marketing managers can use the proposed model as a useful tool for understanding ways to target and motivate segment specific consumers in ways that will increase the effectiveness of managers’ OBC building strategies. Originality/value – This study utilized SDT to explain the internalization process of brand website interactivity. Further, several individual difference factors were explored as antecedents and mediators of brand website interactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-808
Number of pages19
JournalInternet Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Community networks
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Internet
  • Internet marketing
  • Social networks
  • User involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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