Consumers and Internet Studies: a Workshop

Consumers and Internet Studies: a Workshop
Monday 10th January 2011                8:30 – 16:00
Location: Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC), Media-TIC building, Carrer de Roc Boronat 117, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
Registration: Registration has not yet opened.

Speakers will include: Gustavo Cardoso, Lisbon Internet and Networks Institute, Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa; William H. Dutton (Co-organiser), Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford; Fiona Ellis-Chadwick, OU Business School, Open University; Charles Ess, Department of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus; Carlos Flavián-Blanco, Department of Marketing and Market Research, University of Zaragoza; Cornelia Kutterer, Regulatory Policy, Data Governance, Security and Consumer Polices, Microsoft, Brussels; Feng Li, E-Business Development, The Business School, Newcastle University; Inma Rodríguez-Ardura (Co-organiser), Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Open University of Catalonia; Gerard Ryan, Department of Business Management, Rovira i Virgili University; and Greg Taylor, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford


The potential of the Internet to transform the marketing and commercial environment could spawn a field of research within the larger arena of Internet Studies. Early research related to the Internet-based consumer focused on obtaining user profiles and on the segmentation of online consumers. However, as use of the Internet as a marketing channel increased, resulting in its wider use as a purchasing medium, subsequent research became centred on a plethora of questions directly related to the consumer, such as the factors influencing the consumer’s involvement in purchasing behaviours; online consumer satisfaction and loyalty; trust in purchase decisions on the Internet; consumer affairs and protection; as well as the adaptation of classic theories and models to explain online consumer behaviour. In addition, with the emergence of the applications of social networking and the thrust of recent proposals in business sciences – such as, for example, new service-dominant logic and Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM), a new wave of studies has emerged. New studies examine the forms in which the Internet empowers the consumer; exploring the new routes for co-creation of value and for participation on the part of the consumer in processes of innovation and in the generation of content; evaluating the impact of personalization practices tied to CRM programmes and to the new forms of interaction; and, finally, examining the relationship with the brand in virtual communities. A closely related area of research is focused on analyzing the institutional framework of online consumer protection.

The OII and the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (Open University of Catalonia or UOC) are organizing this workshop, with the aim of facilitating further exploration of the terrains and standing of Internet Studies focused on aspects of the consumer and consumer behaviour, and of providing direction for enhancing its substance, significance and impact. The workshop is the second in a collaboratively organized series, intended to support the development of Internet Studies through critical analyses and perspectives.

Particular topics to be addressed at this workshop might include:
·         Critical perspectives on the growing body of research into the Internet and the Consumer, which help to define the state of this field, its dynamism, and the critical areas in need of clarification and further research.

·         Insights into the main contributions made in the research on the online consumer to the larger domain of ‘Internet Studies’, in terms of new theories, data and methods.

·         Comprehensive overviews of key issues in Internet Studies on the Consumer -such as, for example flow, trust, eCRM, brand communities, co-creation and empowerment, which include major findings and directions for further research.

Comments are most welcome