Understanding Consumer Value and Consumption Community Evolution

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


Consumer value is one of the central concepts within all of marketing and consumer research. More recently, consumer value has received renewed interest because consumers are increasingly seen as not only consumers of value but also its active producers - particularly through participation in consumption communities. However, for all its importance in marketing and consumer research, consumer value remains a theoretically underdeveloped and conflicted concept. Similarly, while consumption communities have long been a central topic of inquiry within consumer research, very little is known about issues relating to community evolution. Community evolution touches upon issues such as community member makeup, community growth, tensions, community longevity, and in particular community heterogeneity and its relation to other consumption communities. This doctoral dissertation offers two principal theoretical contributions. First, it introduces the process of consumption community evolution and links it to poststructuralist principles of consumer lifestyle. Second, it presents a comprehensive investigation and reformulation on the concept of consumer value. The theoretical model on consumer value presented in this dissertation synthesizes different and previously incompatible views on consumer value under one theoretical framework. The dissertation adopts a practice theoretical perspective, which also allows for discussing the relationship between community evolution and consumer value. The dissertation is presented in monograph form and it draws from a longitudinal blended netnographic study conducted in a Finnish online community that was originally concentrated on the genre of electronic music called drum n bass. The research project consisted of participant observational netnographic fieldwork in the online community, participant observational ethnographic fieldwork in multiple geographic locations in and out of Finland, and several ethnographic interviews.
Translated title of the contributionKuluttajan arvon käsite ja kuluttajayhteisöjen kehitys
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Schouten, John W., Supervising Professor
  • Moisander, Johanna, Thesis Advisor
  • Tikkanen, Henrikki, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-5524-4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


  • consumer culture
  • value
  • community
  • evolution
  • netnography


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