Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31515
The Study of Implications on Modern Businesses Performances by Digital Communities: Case of Data Leak

Authors: Asim Majeed, Anwar Ul Haq, Mike, Lloyd-Williams, Arshad Jamal, Usman Butt


This study aims to investigate the impact of data leak of M&S customers on digital communities. Modern businesses are using digital communities as an important public relations tool for marketing purposes. This form of communication helps companies to build better relationship with their customers which also act as another source of information. The communication between the customers and the organizations is not regulated so users may post positive and negative comments. There are new platforms being developed on a daily basis and it is very crucial for the businesses to not only get themselves familiar with those but also know how to reach their existing and perspective consumers. The driving force of marketing and communication in modern businesses is the digital communities and these are continuously increasing and developing. This phenomenon is changing the way marketing is conducted. The current research has discussed the implications on M&S business performance since the data was exploited on digital communities; users contacted M&S and raised the security concerns. M&S closed down its website for few hours to try to resolve the issue. The next day M&S made a public apology about this incidence. This information was proliferated on various digital communities and it has impacted negatively on M&S brand name, sales and customers. The content analysis approach is being used to collect qualitative data from 100 digital bloggers including social media communities such as Facebook and Twitter. The results and finding provide useful new insights into the nature and form of security concerns of digital users. Findings have theoretical and practical implications. This research will showcase a large corporation utilizing various digital community platforms and can serve as a model for future organizations.

Keywords: Digital, communities, performance, dissemination, implications, data, exploitation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1262


[1] Algesheimer, R., Dholakia, M., and Herrmann, A., (2005). The Social Influence of Brand Community: Evidence from European Car Clubs, Journals of Marketing, 69(July), p. 19-34.
[2] Bimber, B. (2000). The study of information technology and civic engagement.
[3] Binik, Y. M., Cantor, J., Ochs, E., & Meana, M. (1997). From the couch to the keyboard: Psychotherapy in cyberspace. In S. Kiesler (Ed.), Culture of the Internet (pp. 71-102). Mahwah,NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
[4] Blanchard, A. (2004) Blogs as Virtual Communities: Identifying a Sense of Community in the Julie/Julia Project, Into the blogosphere, Retrieved December 17, 2015, from
[5] Boyd, d. (2007). Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace. Apophenia Blog Essay (June 24).
[6] Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. B. (2007b). Social digital community sites. (Special section). Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1).
[7] Castells M. (1996). The rise of the digital community society. Blackwell, Oxford.
[8] Christy M.K. Cheung and Matthew K.O. Lee. (2009). Understanding the sustainability of a virtual community: model development and empirical test. Journal of Information Science 2009; 35; 279 originally published online Mar 24, 2009Communication Technology UsersCommunication. 17:329-333.
[9] Danah m. boyd and Nicole B. Ellison. (2007) Social digital community sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11.
[10] Daniel Memmi (2006) The nature of virtual communities, AI & Soc, 20(3) :288-300.
[11] Dennis, A. R., Pootheri, S. K., & Natarajan, V. L. (1998). Lessons from the early adopters of Web groupware. Journal of Management Information Systems, 14(4), 65-86.
[12] Donath, J., & boyd, d. (2004). Public displays of connection. BT Technology Journal, 22(4), 71-82.
[13] Downe-Wamboldt, B., (1992). Content analysis: method, applica-tions, and issues. Health Care for Women International 13 (3), 313–321.
[14] Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building Theories from Case Study Research. Academy of Management. The Academy of Management Review.
[15] Elo, S., & Kynga, H. (2007). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 107 - 115.
[16] Ellison et al (2007) ‘The Benefits of Facebook "Friends:"Social Capital and College Students' Use of Online Social Digital community Sites'.
[17] Etzioni, A., & Etzioni, O. (1999). Face-to-face and computer-mediated communities, a comparative analysis. The Information Society, 15, 241-248.
[18] Fielding, N. G., & Lee, R. M. (1998). Computer analysis and qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[19] Granovetter, M. S. “The Strength of Weak Ties.” The American Journal of Sociology 78, no.6 (1973): 1360-1380.
[20] Gross, R., & Acquisti, A. (2005). Information revelation and privacy in online social digital communitys. Proceedings of WPES'05 (pp. 71-80). Alexandria, VA: ACM.
[21] Grumet, (2003) Retrieved on November 19, 2015, from
[22] Hagel III, J., & Armstrong, A. (1997). Net gain: expanding markets through virtual communities. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
[23] Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K.P., Walsh, G., Grembler, D.D., (2004). Electronic Word-of-Mouth Via Consumer-Opinion Platforms: What Motivates Consumers to Articulate Themselves on the internet?, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18 (1), p. 38-52.
[24] Jane Lewis and Anne West. (2009). ‘Friending': London-based undergraduates' experience of Facebook. New Media Society 2009; 11; 1209 originally published online Sep 28, 2009.
[25] Jennefer Hart, Charlene Ridley, Faisal Taher, Corina Sas, Alan Dix. (2008). Exploring the Facebook Experience: A New Approach to Usability. NordiCHI2008 OCT 20-22.
[26] Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Stephanie M. Reich, Natalia Waechter, Guadalupe Espinoza. (2008). Online and offline social digital communitys: Use of social digital communitying sites by emerging adults. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 29 (2008) 420-433.
[27] Kozinets, R. V. (1999), E-tribalized marketing?: the strategic implications of virtual communities of consumption. European Management Journal, 17 (3), 252-264.
[28] McAlexander, J. H., Schouten, J. W., & Koenig, H. F. (2002, January). Building brand community. Journal of Marketing, 66, 38-54.
[29] Mike Thelwall. (2008). Social Digital communitys, Gender and Friending: An Analysis of MySpace Member Profiles. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.
[30] Muniz, A. M., and O'Guinn, T. (2001). Brand community. Journal of Consumer Research, 27, 412-432.
[31] Nicole B. Ellison, Cliff Lampe & Charles Steinfield, (Feb 2009). Social Digital community Sites and Society: Current Trends and Future Possibilities. Interactions.
[32] O' Baoill, A., (2004). Conceptualizing The Weblog: Understanding What It Is in Order to Imagine What It Can Be, Interfacings: A Journal of Contemporary Media Studies, Retrieved on December 23, 2015, from
[33] Pew Internet & American Life Project (2007, May 7). A Typology of Information.
[34] Raj Devasagayam, P. and Van Den Heuvel, D.A. (2004). GeoFree Brand comms: Building Brand Communities Using Blogs. Retrieved on January 3, 2016, from,39025945,60097021p-39000681q,00.htm
[35] Rheingold, H. (1993). The virtual community: homesteading on the electronic frontier. MA: Addison-Wesley.
[36] Serra, K. D., (2004). Virtual Communities: An inquiry into the Role of Virtual communities in Support of Artists/Art Educators, MA thesis, unpublished.
[37] Simmel G (1989) Philosophie des Geldes. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt.
[38] Sonia Livingstone. (2008). Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of social digital communitying sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression. New Media Society 2008; 10; 393
[39] Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the Screen, New York: Touchstone.
[40] U.M. Dholakia, R.P. Bagozzi and L.K. Pearo, A social influence model of consumer participation in digital community-and small-group-based virtual communities, International Journal of Research in Marketing 21(3).
[41] Valck, de, K. (2005), Virtual Communities of Consumption: Digital communitys of Consumer Knowledge and Companionship, PhD thesis, Unpublished, Retrieved on December 11, 2015, from
[42] Vries, S., de & Kommers, P., (2004) Online knowledge communities: future trends and research issues, Int. J. Web Based Communities, 1 (1), 115-123.
[43] Yolanda Villate, Arantza Illarramendi, & Evaggelia Pitoura. (2002). Keep Your Data Safe and Available While Roaming. Mobile Digital communitys and Applications 7, 315-328, 2002.