The Community for Technology Leaders
36th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2003. Proceedings of the (2003)
Big Island, Hawaii
Jan. 6, 2003 to Jan. 9, 2003
ISBN: 0-7695-1874-5
pp: 216b
Peter Aschmoneit , University of St. Gallen
Mark Heitmann , University of St. Gallen
This paper presents research on the application of the means-end chain (MEC) framework for investigating customers cognitive structure regarding community applications. It is argued that the understanding of customers cognition is crucial for the development of sustainable communities. MEC analysis is seen as a means to support the community design tasks, especially concept development. The MEC analysis within concept development helps to improve the success rate of the new designed community by the early integration of customer needs and benefits. Based on theoretical considerations about the MEC framework and its limitations a case study regarding an newly designed information community is illustrated. Data was collected conducting individual laddering interviews online at a major information portal in Germany. Dividing answers into attributes, consequences, and values and using content analysis hierarchical value maps (HVM) for both, messaging applications and information portals, were constructed. To support concept development of a new information community, as a distribution platform for content, the findings of both HVMs were considered. Examples illustrate, that the MEC analysis helps to create a community concept that is focused on the targeted customers. It is supporting the creative process of finding community function and features that are fitting or can be linked to the existing cognitive structures of the targeted individuals regarding community applications.

M. Heitmann and P. Aschmoneit, "Consumers cognition towards communities: Customer-centred community design using the means-end chain perspective," 36th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2003. Proceedings of the(HICSS), Big Island, Hawaii, 2003, pp. 216b.
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