An Examination of the Tribal Community Dimensions of ICT Users

Ana Pinto de Lima, Carlos Brito
2012 Journal of Internet Commerce  
Today, the Internet and other information and communication technologies allow us to establish global processes of interaction. In this context, we see the proliferation of groups of individuals motivated by common passions, interests, and opinions in which the value of the connection between them is more important than the functionality of objects. Tribes emerge from an allegiance based on the identification of common tastes and passions, which leads consumers to celebrate connections and
more » ... onnections and shared experiences. This study aims to analyze the tribal dimension of groups of individuals who organize themselves into communities based on information and communication technologies. Through a qualitative analysis, two distinct communities were the basis of the study. The research allowed for identification and assessment of the presence or absence of features of tribal groups and to understand the motivations and incentives of the participants. expressed and shared in places without borders or territorial boundaries. The need that human beings have to interact, share, and create interest groups, leads to the emergence of new ways of acting. The human being interacts with the environment, developing feelings of belonging and affiliation with other individuals. Markets are increasingly competitive and offer a wide range of products and services designed to meet the needs and desires of each consumer. Therefore, apart from the traditional demographic or psychographic variables, consumers' needs are nowadays further segmented. The emergence of new technologies entails potential diffusion, interaction, and speed in the propagation of information. Cyberspace is the ideal meeting place for untold numbers of consumers to be closer to those who share the same emotions, opinions, and information about a brand, product, or service. Young people have an almost innate ability to make use of new technologies in all areas of their lives. This study aims to analyze the tribal dimension of groups of individuals who organize themselves in communities based on information and communication technologies. In order to do this, a study was undertaken with two distinct communities: one community based on mobile communication and the other based on online discussion forums. The methodology used was on the use of focus groups as a way of interacting and getting acquainted with the members' performances in a non-intrusive way. The qualitative studies that were used to consult members of both the communities selected were described, as well as the use of convenience samples. It appears that a simple group of consumers sharing a certain type of consumption should not in itself be considered a tribe. Following this introduction, the article is divided into seven sections. The next section includes a review of the literature, particularly on postmodernism, tribal consumerism, and the impact of the new information and communication technologies. In the section following that, the research questions are established and the model of analysis used as a basis for the empirical study is developed. The next section presents the adopted methodology, followed by an analysis of the results obtained from the two cases. In the next section, results are discussed in an attempt to provide an answer to the research questions. The article ends with a summary of the major contributions, both theoretical and practical, as well as of the limitations encountered and suggestions for future research in this area.
doi:10.1080/15332861.2012.729468 fatcat:ndqzgqoqtjhffhgrjzb73lku7u