The role of psychological ownership and social identity in e-business: Strategies for building e-loyalty towards blog services
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The explosive demand for personal blogs has led many companies, including giant portal companies to launch the blog business, threatening existing Blogging Service Providers (BSPs). Building prior customer e-loyalty is crucial for blogging service businesses in this competitive market environment and eventually, BSPs will need to establish relevant strategies to lock-in customers. The main goal of this study is to propose and validate relevant strategies for building customer e-loyalty towards BSPs, focusing on three different customer needs: psychological, social, and technical. In detail, this study proposes (1) Control-Enhancing Strategy based on psychological ownership theory to meet customers' psychological needs, (2) Interaction-Enhancing Strategy based on social identity theory to meet their social needs, and (3) System Quality-Enhancing Strategy based on system quality theory to meet their technical needs. A structural model which includes these three strategies was proposed and empirically tested. Data was collected through both paper and Web-based surveys. 204 responses were collected and 172 were usable among them. Respondents were U.S. residents who have their own blogs. The results show that the three proposed strategies were all valid and efficient (R2 =.602). According to the path coefficients and correlation matrix, the paths from "Perceived Control over Blog" via "Psychological Ownership towards Blog" to "E-loyalty towards the BSP" turned out to be a main path for E-loyalty developments. Most paths in the model were statistically significant (p<.001), except for the path from "Navigation Convenience" to "Overall Satisfaction with Service." Several follow-up analyses were conducted and found that Control-Enhancing is useful as a short term strategy while Interaction-Enhancing is useful as a long term strategy. It was also found that customers' global satisfaction with life stemmed from social identity developed on the Internet, to some extent. The findings in this study show why people get involved in a blog and why they leave, and verify key factors that influence online behavior. The findings can be used for diverse e-business areas to establish relevant strategies for e-loyalty. New frameworks are proposed for the academic domain of MIS, and for practitioners in developing new e-business models or information systems development projects in an organization.