Detmar W. Straub
This article introduces Internet group purchasing (IGP) as a novel e-commerce phenomenon. Drawing on collective cognition and other relevant theories, we investigate the management of IGP by analyzing the four stages of IGP: (1) information accumulation, (2) interaction, (3) examination, and (4) accommodation. Netnographic methods were employed to collect qualitative data from eleven online group purchasing websites selected from hundreds of possible study websites. Analysis of the four stages of IGP lends support to the group-level cognition theory and makes contributions to collective cognition theory, especially as how it can be applied to the e-commerce context. It also situates group purchasing within the phenomenon of social networking marketing and discusses the symbiosis between IGP and businesses goals. Findings can help e-commerce practitioners to better understand online consumers and the manner in which they organize Internet group purchasing using social media. The research also provides managerial implications and directions for future research.