Online Qualitative Research in the Age of E-Commerce: Data Sources and Approaches

  • Nikhilesh Dholakia University of Rhode Island
  • Dong Zhang University of Rhode Island
Keywords: e-commerce, netnography, online qualitative research, consumer, marketing, computer mediated communication


With the boom in E-commerce, practitioners and researchers are increasingly generating marketing and strategic insights by employing the Internet as an effective new tool for conducting well-established forms of qualitative research (TISCHLER 2004). The potential of Internet as a rich data source and an attractive arena for qualitative research in e-commerce settings—in other words cyberspace as a "field," in the ethnographic sense—has not received adequate attention. This paper explores qualitative research prospects in e-commerce arenas. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0402299


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Author Biographies

Nikhilesh Dholakia, University of Rhode Island
Nikhilesh DHOLAKIA is Professor in the Marketing, E-Commerce, and Management Information Systems areas in the College of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island. His research deals with problems at the intersection of technology, globalization, and consumer culture.
Dong Zhang, University of Rhode Island
Dong ZHANG is in the Doctoral Program in the College of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island, specializing in Marketing and E-Commerce. His research focus is on the role of online virtual communities in marketing and consumption related processes.