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《Acta Psychologica Sinica》 2007-02
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Why Does a Consumer Participate in the Process of Co-creation?:A Study on Consumers’ Creative Motivation

Xu Lan(Economics and Management School, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China)(Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)  
Introduction Nowadays consumers are increasingly involved in the process of product development. The present study aimed to investigate consumer creativity in the form of creative participation (defined as consumers' co-creation with companies of novel and valuable products, services, ideas, and consumption experiences). Past research has shown that consumers' need for cognition (NC) and the encouragement of creativity have a positive effect on consumers' creativity. Also, individuals who actively engage in thinking are thought to have a high propensity to create. However, even if the consumers have a high need for cognition, they will not spend the energy on creative participation if they perceive the creative activity as unnecessary. Thus the first hypothesis was that consumers' NC did not have significant effect on consumers' intention to engage in creative participation. According to uniqueness theory, one of the motivations for consumers to engage in creative participation may come from their need for unique products (NFUP), i.e. to acquire a symbol of distinct self from using unique products. Thus the second hypothesis was that consumers' need for unique products had a positive effect on their intention to engage in creative participation. OSL Theory may account for another consumer motivation to engage in creative participation, i.e., the need for unique experiences (NFUE). Those whose perceived level of stimulation is lower than their optimum level of stimulation should probably need to seek unique experiences from the process of creation in order to attain their optimum level of stimulation. Thus, the third hypothesis was that consumers' need for unique experiences had a positive effect on their intention to engage in creative participation. Although the two motivations mentioned above are similar in terms of consumers' self-perception (i.e., consumers are motivated because of their need to seek the perception of uniqueness), differences exist between them. Consumers' need for unique products is outcome-oriented, and thus consumers are more concerned about whether the creative participation leads to distinct self-image and social image. On the other hand, consumers' need for unique experiences is process-oriented, and consumers are therefore find stimulation from the process of co-creation as being interesting or novel. Method To examine the hypotheses, a 2 (encouragement of creative participation: high or low)×2 (relationship between the service providers and consumers: strong or weak) between-subject design was adopted. A total of 127 undergraduate students (74% female) participated in the experiment for extra credits for their course. Independent variables, including need for cognition, need for unique products, and need for unique experiences, were measured by established instruments. The dependent variable was participants' intention to engage in creative participation. Results and Conclusion With hierarchical regression analysis results showed that, contrary to some previous findings, consumers' NC did not have a significant effect on their intention to engage in creative participation. On the other hand, both consumers' NFUP and NFUE had significant effects on consumers' intention to engage in creative participation. Besides, consumers' trust in the service provider acted as a moderator on the relation between NFUP and consumers' intention to engage in creative participation. Encouragement of co-creation from the service provider increased the effect of NFUE on consumers' intention to engage in creative participation. These findings have implications for segmentation of customers, the NPD process, and customer relationship building. In particular, customers who are interested in creative participation can be divided into two groups: unique products seekers and unique experiences seekers. Different marketing strategies should be adopted for each group.
【CateGory Index】: F713.55
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