An exploration of consumers’ online complaining behaviour on Facebook

Istanbulluoğlu, Doğa (2014). An exploration of consumers’ online complaining behaviour on Facebook. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study explores online consumer complaining behaviour (CCB) on Facebook. The main objectives are: (1) to understand how Facebook is being used as a medium for consumer complaining, and (2) to understand why consumers complain on Facebook. An interpretative research position and multi-method qualitative design was adopted. Netnography, a form of online ethnography, is employed as the research design. First, participant-observational methods examined posts and discussions on Facebook’s official company pages, user-created pages/groups and user profiles. Then, online in-depth interviews were conducted with 37 consumers who were identified through online observations. These interviews were conducted in three forms: text-based, video-based, and email interviewing. The findings shed light on the nature (i.e. customs and manners) of online complaining on Facebook, consumers’ interactions with other consumers and companies, the role of Facebook in the complaint process, consumers’ objectives for complaining on Facebook, and outcomes of these. A key contribution of this study is the development of two models: ‘Integrated Model of CCB’ which aims to explain the organisation of complaining actions by integrating existing CCB theories and ‘Model of online CCB on Facebook’ which describes the range of online complaining actions on Facebook. On the basis of the findings of this study, research implications and recommendations for the management are suggested.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology


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