Center for Advanced Management




Prof. Dr. Werner H. Kunz (University of Massachusetts Boston)


  • Datum: 13. Januar 2010
  • Zeit: 17:15 - 18:45 Uhr
  • Ort: Raum 025, Ludwigstr. 28/RG

How do Social Networking Platforms Influence their Members? - Understanding the Two Sides of Consumer Addiction to Online Communities

Social network sites are becoming more and more important in today’s marketing world (e.g. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter). It can be observed that many consumers invest an increasing amount of time and effort to participate on their platform, and some network members describe themselves as “almost addicted.” This study tries to understand this widespread social phenomenon. Thus, we extend the traditional studies regarding addiction and focus on a new and very common form of consumer dependency which plays an important role in the relationship between the consumer and the social networking platform. After some qualitative pre-studies, we developed based on the attachment theory and the theory of rational addiction a framework of consumer dependency that includes functional and dysfunctional aspects. In several qualitative and quantitative studies with 402 social networking site members a scale was developed and we were able to show that consumer addiction is distinct from existing constructs.  By means of a SEM approach different effects of the functional and dysfunctional consumer dependency on consumer behavior were detected. Further, different personality and experience based factors were identified that lead to an increasing consumer dependency. Finally, the implications of this research for the management of social networking sites are discussed in detail.