Prof. De Valck awarded for her article on Virtual Communities and Marketing

9 September 2013

Professor Kristine de Valck, HEC Paris Associate Professor in Marketing has won one of the prestigious Citations of Excellence Awards for 2013. The prize delivered by Emerald Group Publishing Limited awarded Prof. De Valck for the article "Virtual communities: a marketing perspective" (Decision Support Systems, 2009). It has been chosen as one of the top 50 articles with proven impact since its publication date (2009 in this case to allow for citation impact to be accurately measured) from the top 300 management journals in the world, including Harvard Business Review; Journal of Finance; Journal of Marketing; Strategic Management Journal; MIT Sloan Management Review; Long Range Planning; Academy of Management Journal; and MIS Quarterly.

Kristine de Valck - HEC Paris

 With 15,000 article abstracts published, receiving a Citation of Excellence is an extraordinary achievement and represents one of the highest accolades that an author can achieve. In the article co-written with Gerrit H. van Bruggen, and Berend Wierenga, Kristine de Valck has explained how  ‘word-of-mouse’ has become a significant market force that influences consumer decision-making. On the basis of extensive quantitative and qualitative research, the authors sketch how consumers make use of virtual communities as social and information networks, and how this affects their decision-making processes. The article presents three studies that address (i) determinants and effects of virtual community influence on the various phases of the consumer decision process; (ii) virtual community participation patterns; and (iii) discussion practices of the most active community members.

The authors demonstrate that virtual communities serve as reference groups that differ from traditional reference groups in their heterogeneous character. Consequently, members are faced with diverse opinions and behaviors. The core member group actively engages in negotiating and discussing norms and values about the community’s topics of interest. The article shows that the extent of community influence differs across various phases of the consumer decision process, and across community members. The developed six member typology facilitates understanding of the different ways in which members make use of, and value the community as a reference group. The articles concludes with a discussion about how the findings obtained in a ‘traditional’ online community based on discussion forums applies to ‘newer’ networking sites such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook.

The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, Aug 11 2013 in Orlando, Florida at the Emerald Networking and Awards Presentation Evening organized especially for authors, editors and editorial board members during the Academy of Management 2013 in Orlando, Florida.


de Valck K, van Bruggen G H, Wierenga B, Virtual communities: a marketing perspective, Decision Support Systems, June 2009, Volume: 47 Issue: 3 pp.185-203.

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