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Journal Article

Social Commerce and Innovative Business Engagements: An Empirical Investigation  pp94-108

Jiwat Ram, Siqi Liu

© Nov 2018 Volume 21 Issue 2, Editor: Prof Shaun Pather, pp63 - 168

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Social media (SM) is driving innovations in both individual and business lifestyles, unleashing new opportunities and spurring new business models. Chinese businesses, in particular, have seized upon the opportunity of integrating SM in innovative ways of business delivery. Yet there is little formal knowledge on this subject. The purpose of this research, therefore, is to empirically identify some of these SM‑enabled business innovations in a Chinese context to develop fundamental knowledge and to build an evidence‑based platform for understanding the motivation for adopting SM for business innovations. Qualitative data collected through semi‑structured interviews with industry experts were analysed using content analysis techniques. The study finds that SM is enabling innovations in business including: (1) developments of social media market territories that are used by organizations for gathering market intelligence as well as for promoting products/services, (2) strategic engagements that are being used not only for tapping into diverse wisdom but also as a means of cultivating communities and enhancing product/service awareness before their launch, (3) quicker promotion to productivity, (4) development of socialized commerce activities based on new S‑Channels, and (5) development of social media market intermediaries. Academically, the results extend innovation theories in a SM‑oriented technological innovations context and identify some of the factors that could influence the adoption stage as in more general innovation theory. Managerially, the results could be valuable for strategising adoption of SM‑enabled business innovation and tapping into the opportunities of social commerce and development of S‑Channels.


Keywords: Business innovations, Social capital, New business trends, Socialized commerce, Social media market territories, Innovation theory


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