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Towards an Ethical and Trustworthy Social Commerce Community for Brand Value Co-creation: A trust-Commitment Perspective

Abstract

Firms have been increasingly using social commerce platforms to engage with customers and support their brand value co-creation. While social commerce is now bringing a variety of benefits to business, it has also challenged marketing ethics surrounding online consumer privacy. Drawing on the trust-commitment theory, we develop a model that aims to create an ethical and trustworthy social commerce community for brand value co-creation by examining the impacts of online consumer privacy concerns (namely privacy risk and privacy control) and social interaction constructs (namely consumer-peer interaction and collaborative norms) on consumers’ psychological reactions. Using an empirical study, we find that: (1) privacy risk, privacy control, and collaborative norms significantly influence consumers’ trust; (2) consumer-peer interaction and collaborative norms are positively related to relationship commitment; and (3) relationship commitment and trust positively affect consumers’ brand value co-creation in the context of social commerce. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Notes

  1. https://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/facebook/pages/total/brands, accessed In Feb. 2019.

  2. Firms could also engage in deceptive practices on social commerce platforms to manipulate consumers’ perceptions and influence the process of brand value co-creation. We thank one reviewer for pointing this issue out.

  3. Only participants who visited firms’ brand pages regularly were kept for our analysis.

  4. Following Hershatter and Epstein (2010), we selected those who were born after 1980 as younger generations (i.e., digital natives). The recent literature has shown that these digital natives may become differently in digital environment (Liu et al. . 2018).

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Acknowledgement

The authors are grateful to the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions that helped develop this paper.

Funding

This study was funded by Murdoch University.

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Correspondence to Xiaolin Lin.

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Conflict of interest

Xuequn Wang has received research grants from Murdoch University. Mina Tajvidi declares that she has no conflict of interest. Xiaolin Lin declares that he has no conflict of interest. Nick Hajli declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Appendices

Appendix A: Sample demographic Information

Category Sample (N = 400)
Ethnicity  
 White 82.40%
 Black or African American 9.29%
 American Indian or Alaska Native .73%
 Asian 3.67%
 Hispanic 3.42%
 Other .49%
Education  
 Less than high school 1.22%
 High school graduate 20.05%
 Some college 27.38%
 2 year degree 12.96%
 4 year degree 30.07%
 Professional degree 7.82%
 Doctorate .49%
Age  
 18–19 .24%
 20–29 10.27%
 30–39 15.40%
 40–49 18.83%
 50–59 24.94%
 60 or older 30.32%
Gender (% of female) 63.57%
Years visiting Facebook 5.87 (SD 2.89)
Years visiting Facebook Brand Page 2.81 (SD 2.20)

Appendix B: Measurement

Privacy risk
PR1 It would be risky to post information
PR2 There would be high potential for privacy loss associated with posting information
PR3 My information would be inappropriately used by other peers
PR4 Posting information would involve many unexpected problems
Privacy control
PC1 I believe I can control the information posted
PC2 I believe I have control over who can get access to my information posted
PC3 I think I have control over what information is released
PC4 I believe I have control over how my information is used by other peers
Consumer–peer interaction
CPI1 I maintain close social relationships with other users
CPI2 I spend a lot of time interacting with other users
CPI3 I know other users on a personal level
CPI4 I have frequent communication with other users
Collaborative norms
CN1 There is a norm of cooperation
CN2 There is a norm of collaboration
CN3 There is a norm of teamwork
CN4 There is a willingness to value and respond to diversity
CN5 There is a norm of openness to conflicting views
CN6 There is a norm of tolerance of mistakes
CN7 Information sharing is important
CN8 Information sharing is strongly encouraged
Trust
TIF1 The performance of Facebook Brand Page always meets my expectations
TIF2 Facebook brand page can be counted as good features
TIF3 Facebook brand page is reliable
Relationship commitment
RC1 I have an emotional attachment to my favorite Facebook brand page
RC2 I feel a sense of belonging to my favorite Facebook brand page
RC3 I feel a strong connection to my favorite Facebook brand page
RC4 I feel a part of the group in my favorite Facebook brand page
Brand value Co-creation
BVC1 I often share corporate posts (such as products or news) from my favorite Facebook brand page on my own Facebook page
BVC2 I often recommend my favorite Facebook brand page to my Facebook contacts
BVC3 I frequently upload product-related videos, audios, pictures, or images from my favorite Facebook brand page on my own Facebook page
BVC4 I often join events organized through my favorite Facebook brand page
BVC5 I often share my own shopping experiences on my favorite Facebook brand page

Appendix C: Item descriptive statistics

Construct Item Mean SD Loading
Privacy risk PR1 3.74 1.62 0.93
PR2 3.91 1.68 0.95
PR3 3.70 1.59 0.92
PR4 3.65 1.69 0.95
Privacy control PC1 4.55 1.67 0.90
PC2 4.59 1.60 0.93
PC3 4.52 1.57 0.95
PC4 4.40 1.66 0.93
Consumer–peer interaction CPI1 4.24 1.83 0.95
CPI2 4.00 1.82 0.94
CPI3 4.06 1.98 0.93
CPI4 4.14 1.90 0.97
Collaborative norms CN1 5.19 1.17 0.88
CN2 5.13 1.19 0.90
CN3 5.01 1.33 0.87
CN4 5.20 1.22 0.89
CN5 4.92 1.28 0.80
CN6 4.83 1.27 0.77
CN7 5.36 1.27 0.86
CN8 5.44 1.22 0.82
Trust TIF1 5.08 1.25 0.94
TIF2 5.20 1.19 0.95
TIF3 5.16 1.21 0.94
Relationship commitment RC1 4.04 1.84 0.93
RC2 4.42 1.72 0.97
RC3 4.34 1.72 0.97
RC4 4.55 1.67 0.93
Brand value Co-creation BVC1 3.99 1.90 0.88
BVC2 3.99 1.88 0.91
BVC3 3.52 1.94 0.84
BVC4 3.41 1.88 0.85
BVC5 3.85 1.96 0.89

Appendix D: Demographic differences of model testing

  Male (144) Female (256) Diff. Sig.? Young (181) Old (219) Diff. Sig.?
H1a: privacy risk → trust − 0.03 − 0.12* sd − 0.07 − 0.09* sd
H1b: privacy control → trust 0.31*** 0.25*** >*** 0.22** 0.28*** <***
H2a: collaborative norms → trust 0.57*** 0.46*** >*** 0.59*** 0.45*** >***
H2b: collaborative norms → relationship commitment 0.36*** 0.28*** >*** 0.26*** 0.33*** <***
H3a: Consumer–Peer interaction → relationship commitment 0.46*** 0.49*** <*** 0.53*** 0.47*** >***
H3b: trust → relationship commitment 0.06 0.17** sd 0.14* 0.11* >***
H4a: trust → brand value co-creation 0.26*** 0.13* >*** 0.18* 0.14* >***
H4b: relationship commitment → brand value co-creation 0.58*** 0.54*** >*** 0.55*** 0.55*** ns
  1. ns no significant difference; sd structurally different (one path is significant and the other is not); Diff. Sig. different significantly?
  2. * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001

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Wang, X., Tajvidi, M., Lin, X. et al. Towards an Ethical and Trustworthy Social Commerce Community for Brand Value Co-creation: A trust-Commitment Perspective. J Bus Ethics 167, 137–152 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04182-z

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Keywords

  • Social commerce
  • Brand value co-creation
  • Privacy
  • Trust-commitment theory
  • Consumer-peer interaction
  • Collaborative norms