Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Impact of the Smart Device Interactivity on the Co-Creation of Value in the Sport Industry

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Impact of the Smart Device Interactivity on the Co-Creation of Value in the Sport Industry

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the 21st century, a variety of portable smart devices started to emerge. These devices allow people to use more advanced computing ability and offer instantaneous connectivity even more so than an ordinary personal computer (Chen, Yen, & Chen, 2009). Moreover, these smart devices provide a platform where people can easily access to the optimal information that they need (Lee, 2005) and real-time information can be exchanged anywhere at any time (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2010). One of the popular smart devices is a smartphone and a significant number of business organizations have shifted marketing strategies from a mass-market perspective to a customer-centric perspective, which represents the most recent innovation in the progress of portable smart devices (Oulasvirta, Rattenbury, Ma & Raita, 2012; Sheth, Sisodia & Sharma, 2000; Smith, 2015). Through this technological development, consumers have become more active recipients of innovation and partners in the innovation process. The direction of interaction between the firm and the customer is also evolving to a two-way interactive dialogue for value cocreation (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004a; Sawhney, Verona, & Prandelli, 2005).

Social network services have been effectively used by a large number of sports organizations to communicate with their customers or fans. All 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises, 32 National Football League (NFL) teams, 30 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and 30 National Hockey League (NHL) teams use Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs. Individual athletes also attract large followings. According to Tweeting-Athletes.com (2012), 7,217 NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and soccer players use Twitter to interact with their fans. In addition, sports news channels use blogs to interact with fans (Martin, 2012). As such, new media is considered a core platform through which sports organizations, teams, and individual athletes interact with their fans or customers (Flew & Smith, 2011). Through portable smart devices, new media is facilitating interactivity between consumers and organizations (Lee & Lan, 2007). This rapid growth of new media requires changes in the way organizations have traditionally operated (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2010). Organizations recognize the need for platforms to facilitate value cocreation with customers in the virtual environment (Sawhney et al., 2005), and focus on interactivity and management of value cocreation with their customers (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004a).

Consumers play a leading role in influencing important decisions, such as those in manufacturing, distribution, and the service process. Through this interaction, firms can progressively learn about their consumers, and even learn from them (Sawhney et al., 2005). According to Lin and Huang (2006), individual customers yield value and services for and from each other by participating in communities of customers. In addition, peers perceive the information a group of consumers provides to be timelier, more complete, and more personalized than the information the commercial media provides (Schwabe & Prestipino, 2005). Therefore, organizations including sports organizations would do well to implement strategies to allow consumers to participate more actively in co-creation value (Sigala, 2009). However, despite the importance of interactivity in the smart device-based environment, most of the research on interactivity has focused on the computer-based environment. Moreover, the research focused on how smart devices' interactivity affects customer participation in the sports industry is still quite insufficient. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study is to examine how interactivity in smart devices influences customer value cocreation by mediating roles of bridging social capital and collective efficacy in the sports industry.

Theoretical Framework

Interactivity

Interactivity is defined as "the relationship between two or more people who, in a given situation, mutually adapt their behavior and actions to each other" (Jensen, 1998, p. …

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