Co-evolving e-tail and on-line communities: Conceptual framework

Linda A. Macaulay, Kathy Keeling, Peter McGoldrick, George Dafoulas, Emmanouil Kalaitzakis, Debbie Keeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the problem of designing a Web site that meets the needs of both an evolving community and an evolving business. It reports a case study of a business that introduced an e-tail site and an associated on-line community. The site development used an existing community-centered development method. The study found that participants had different motivations for visiting the site - some only wanted product information and purchase, some were seeking social support and information, others sought a more intense experience and greater social involvement. Failure to recognize the separate needs of these clusters resulted in not fully achieving business- and community-building goals. The analysis of the relationship between Web site design, cluster needs, and business goals offers a conceptual framework for co-evolving community and business. Copyright © 2007 M.E. Sharpe, Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-77
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Case study
  • E-business
  • E-commerce
  • E-tail
  • Iterative design
  • On-line community


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