Testing the moderating effects of toolkits and user communities in personalization: The case of social networking serviceDecision Support Systems


Yonggui Wang, Dahui Li
Information Systems and Management / Information Systems / Management Information Systems


Max born medal and prize

The Institute of Physics

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Lee H. Bowker, o̊Dean of the Graduate School and Research


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Personalization o pr ific ctiv pul nsh ge s who participate in the personalization of social networking service, we found that toolkits had a marging effect, and user communities had no significant moderating effect on the hnolog d the ro rocess [ and co

Decision Support Systems 55 (2013) 31–42

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Decision Supp j ourna l homepage: www.eorder to meet customers' specific needs [57,58]. Previous studies have reported various practices of co-creation and co-design between customers and firms, as well as personalization and self-design by customers, such as snowboarding, mountain-biking, kite surfing, Apache software, scientific instruments, library systems, and petroleum processing equipment [16,23,24,30,32–34,39,53,60].

How to design and improve the co-creation and personalization process is important for both practitioners and researchers. Previous studies have found that co-creation and personalization are more likely to emerge among knowledgeable users who have the domain knowledge for customization and building communities among customers, are effective mechanisms for co-creation and user innovation [14,26,41,59,62]. A customization toolkit is a set of design tools provided by the firm for customers to play, after design and personalize products and services [59].

User communities work as central hubs for customers to share knowledge and experience and provide feedbacks for customized design and personalization [13,16,65].

Despite these findings, there is a lack of research in how these factors interact in the co-creation and personalization process, except for several studies [16,19,26]. For example, Franke et al. [16] findabout the products and services to be used or c ☆ The paper is sponsored by the National Natural Sci 71072019) and The Key (Major) Projects of National

China (No. 12&ZD205). ⁎ Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 218 726 7334; fax:

E-mail addresses: ygwang@uibe.edu.cn (Y. Wang), d 1 Tel.: +86 10 64494350. 0167-9236/$ – see front matter © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2012.12.045-creators of products and e tools for customers to roducts and services in ways to solve problems and expecting benefits of new products ahead of other users [40]. Other studies have revealed that various resources and supports provided by a firm, such as developing advanced toolkitsservices [25,44,46,54,67]. Firms usually provid customize and personalize individualized pUser innovation 1. Introduction

The implementation of internet tec customer-firm interactions has change in a firm's production and innovation p creasingly seen as a firm's co-producersknowledge and personalization effectiveness. The implications of the findings for research and practice are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. ies, especially web 2.0, in les played by customers 41,67]. Customers are inas among lead userswhose needs are not satisfied by the default products and services but expect to benefit from developing some solutions to change the products and services [15,39,40,49,53,56]. Lead users can be measured by leading edge status (LES), which refers to the degree to which a user exhibits lead user characteristics in terms of exploring newLeading edge status

Customization toolkits

Co-creationrelationship between leading edge status and personalization effectiveness. However, both toolkits and user communities had significant and positive moderating effects on the relationship between userSocial networking service al but positive moderatinTesting the moderating effects of toolkits

The case of social networking service☆

Yonggui Wang a,1, Dahui Li b,⁎ a Department of Marketing, Business School, University of International Business and Econ b Labovitz School of Business and Economics, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN a b s t r a c ta r t i c l e i n f o

Article history:

Received 19 January 2012

Received in revised form 27 August 2012

Accepted 9 December 2012

Available online 26 January 2013


Firms are increasingly seen t lored to the customers' spec and how to improve the effe moderating effects of two po communities, on the relatio characteristics, of leading edonsumed [32,51], as well ence Foundation of China (No.

Social Science Foundation of +1 218 726 7516. li@d.umn.edu (D. Li). rights reserved.d user communities in personalization: s, Beijing, China 2-2496, United States ovide customization tools for customers to personalize products and service taineeds. How to attract and empower customers into the personalization process eness of personalization are important for firms. The current study examines the ar enabling approaches implemented by firms, customization toolkits and user ip between the effectiveness of personalization and two innovative customer tatus and user knowledge. Using data collected from 308 Chinese customers ort Systems l sev ie r .com/ locate /dssthat integrating the feedbacks from peer users complements the role of customization toolkits in one's own design of products. Füller et al. [19] find significant moderating effects of lead user characteristics on the relationship between task involvement and tool support, as well as that between perceived empowerment and the intention to participate in innovation. Jeppesen [26] finds that customer interactions in communities enhance the impact of firm's supporting toolkits. 32 Y. Wang, D. Li / Decision Support Systems 55 (2013) 31–42As far as these limited findings are concerned, the knowledge about the possible interactions of these factors is sparse. It is noteworthy that previous studies have noticed such ignorance. Previous literature suggests that the research on toolkits and that on user communities ‘should not be examined in isolation’ [16, p.555] and calls for research to investigate the interaction effects of toolkits and user communities. To our best knowledge, we have not seen any investigation in how user toolkits and user communities moderate the direct effects of LES and user knowledge on the outcome of co-creation and personalization. To fill these gaps, we develop an integrated research model based on the theories in the literature of user-centered innovation [60], leaduser theory in particular [49,56], as well as the co-creation literature [67]. Our research question is: how do toolkits and user communities moderate the relationship between LES and effectiveness of customer personalization, as well as the relationship between user knowledge and the effectiveness?