Upcoming Social Media Ph.D. Course in Bergen, Norway–August 23-27, 2010

social-media.jpgI just got back from a Europe and have some things to recap and share with you about some interesting experiences there. But first I wanted to share some exciting news about a course on Social Media Marketing and Marketing Research that I will be teaching/facilitating in beautiful Bergen, Norway, at the NHH School, next month.

The course will run from Monday, August 23 to Friday, August 27. It a one week intensive, and students should expect to put in some long days, as there will be full days of discussion and instruction followed by full evenings of research homework. Expect to be fully immersed in social media theory, practice, and action.

The course is a combination of readings, intense discussion, and hands-on research research experience. It it aimed at beginners and those with intermediate abilities and interests.  The goal is to have a dedicated and fully up-to-date Ph.D. course on these important matters for students from around the world to take.

nhh_logo.jpgIngeborg Kleppe at NHH initiated the course, and the school has been extremely generous in that they are providing the course for free to interested Ph.D. students. Students will be required to bring their own laptop computers to work on. And, believe me, they will be using them a lot. This is a course about doing netnography, not just talking about it.

The catch is that to provide the optimal experience we are limiting enrollment to 15 students. We currently have about 20, I believe, so there are 5 slots currently available.

Interested Ph.D. students should write to Ingeborg Kleppe as soon as possible. Her email is  Ingeborg.Kleppe@nhh.no

Instructors, students, and others might be interested in the syllabus for the course, so I include it here in its entirety (although please note that there will likely be updates and substitutions in the actual course as this material is part of a rapidly growing and rapidly changing body of work).

Course title: Social Media Marketing– Web 2.0

Program of study:PhD

Course responsible Professor Robert Kozinets, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto

Associate professor Ingeborg Astrid Kleppe, NHH

Semester Fall 2010 Teaching language English

Objective/ course outline

Online communities, social networking sites, blogging, and other interactive uses of information technology are changing the way people communicate and understand their world. Social media is changing society, and changing the nature of marketing.

An understanding of online communities and online WOM are critical for the marketers of today and tomorrow, who are trying to be heard in a mediascape cluttered with advertisements and drenched in consumer distrust. Companies are trying to discover how to speak to consumers in a way that is more authentic, and social media marketing are being tried as an alternative to traditional marketing tactics. But how should it best be used? What are the rules for success? It’s all brand new and uncertain.

The purpose of this course is to introduce PhD students to research in social media marketing and social media marketing research. In several classroom discussions led by the professor, students will learn about the theories and practices that inform this new set of marketing techniques, and will study actual and ongoing social media marketing campaigns.

Specific topics include (subject to adaptation and revision):

  • Terminology issues: distinguishing the different types of social media and social media marketing campaigns
  • Similarities and differences between new and traditional media, and between organic and amplified WOM
  • Overview of useful theories about social media and word-of-mouth
  • How networks of social influence work
  • Marketing Metrics: Tracking online and offline word-of-mouth and influence
  • Building social media marketing into strategy and tactics
  • Ethical aspects and codes of the industry


We will be using a reading package and online materials to conduct a ‘real-time’ learning experience that blends theory and practice and talk and action, as well as school and business.


The course is designed to help students answer the following important questions about social media marketing and research:

1. What is social media? What are its key characteristics?

2. What are the underlying characteristics of social media? How is it consumed? What principles underlie its consumption? Why do people use it? What is its historical basis? How can we better understand it?

3. How can we research social media? What methods are available and how do they work?

4. What characterizes a good or successful social media communications campaign? How can we create one? What are the keys to its planning and implementation?

5. What are the underlying principles regarding the production and consumption of social media? How do they inform our theoretical understanding?

Requirements for course approval 

In order to complete this course successfully, students must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Do the readings
  • Participate in class discussions
  • Come to class prepared and with an open mind
  • Work hard on the in-class and out-of-class assignments
  • Take Feedback
  • Submit final paper on time
  • Take your Learning to the Next Level

Individual Terms Papers

  • * First outline of paper due August 25, 2010
  • * Presentation and initial research presentation due August 27, 2010
  • * Final paper: Due on September 3, 2010

 Other remarks

Course aims

By the end of this course you should:

  • Be familiar with all of the key authors readings in the field of social marketing
  • Be able to use key concepts in social media marketing
  • Be able to reflect on the practical business and marketing implications of social media marketing across a wide set of industries
  • Be able to identify current gaps and opportunities for future research in the current theoretical domain of social media marketing studies

Learning and teaching activities

* This is a highly interactive, workshop-oriented and discussion-oriented class that depends upon student involvement

* Therefore, assigned readings should be read prior to attending class each week

* Lecture style presentations will introduce topics and develop ideas

* In-class discussion require active participation by all students

* Workshops in class will be highly engaging and require intense student involvement

* Professor’s blog and other blogs may be helpful additions to course material (brandthroposophy: Kozinets.net)

Required Course Readings

* Kozinets, Robert V. (2010), Doing Ethnographic Research Online, Sage: London.

* Course Package readings

* Many course readings and, especially, cases, are available online


* There are no exams in this course.

Final Grades will be based on the following assessments, weighted as indicated:

*Class Participation and Contribution -25%

Social Media Project –Stage 1, Presentation and Summary -25%

Social Media Project—Stage 2, Final Paper -50%

Final grades in this class will follow the usual distribution for electives.

Class Participation and Contribution

Your Class Participation and Contribution Grade will be based on your attendance, contributions to in-class discussions, and awareness of issues in required readings. Your participation grade will be assigned by the instructor based on these factors.

Social Media Marketing Research Project

As the major deliverable from the course, you will engage in a multi-stage social media marketing research project. Your project will be directed at one of two goals. Either you will research a social media marketing campaign and its response, formulating refined principles for marketing practice. Or you will examine a marketing or consumer research topic or site of interest, formulating refined theoretical insights to enable enhanced understanding. The two goals can also be combined, but this is a more challenging endeavor.

Marketing Practice Project: For this project you will use netnography to investigate, report upon, and analyze the online environment, which may include company’s and competitors existing online initiatives, and will include social media activity related to a particular campaign.

What communities and cultures exist in this online social space? What sort of presence does the focal company or client have in the social media arena? What general brands are being promoted? What intelligence is being gathered? Are campaigns successful or not? Why or why not? You will use your netnographic research and analysis skills in order to examine and benchmark consumer activity and marketing responses in this field and to suggest guidelines for marketing practice that are grounded in sound research. A 15-20 page written report on your specific research findings, with a data appendix of up to 10 extra pages—is your Stage 1 project deliverable. You will submit it in hardcopy, double-spaced, in 12 point New Times Roman font. It is due by email softcopy one week after the end of class.

Marketing Theory Project: For this project you will use netnography to develop our conceptual understanding of a site or topic. Beginning with a concentrated field investigation, you will circle into theory development based, at least initially, upon relevant and related course readings. You will follow sound theory development and theoretical positioning practices in order to craft a paper that could potentially be submitted to a research journal.

A 15-20 page written report on your specific research findings, with a data appendix of up to 10 extra pages—is your Stage 1 project deliverable. You will submit it in hardcopy, double-spaced, in 12 point New Times Roman font. It is due by email softcopy one week after the end of class. This will be your Stage 2 project deliverable.

On Friday, August 27, a full report will be made to the class in a 10-15 minute PowerPoint presentation, followed by a Q&A/comment session. The presentation—consisting of the PowerPoint deck with 1-page executive summary—is your Stage 1 project deliverable.


 * Note: Because of the rapidly changing nature of this course’s topic matter, new, updated, online material will likely supplement some of the readings for the course.

CLASS 1: The Cultural Foundations of Social Media—MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 2010

1. Dichter, Ernest (1966), “How Word-of-Mouth Advertising Works,” Harvard Business Review, 16, 147-66.

2. Whyte, William H., Jr. (1954), “The Web of Word of Mouth,” Fortune, 50 (November), 140-143.

3. Feick, Lawrence F. and Linda L. Price (1987), “The Market Maven: A Diffuser of Marketplace Information,” Journal of Marketing, 51(1), 83-97.

4. Cova, Bernard (1997), “Community and Consumption: Towards a Definition of the Linking Value of Products or Services,” European Journal of Marketing, 31 (3/4), 297-316.

5. Levine, et al. (2009), The Cluetrain Manifesto, Revised Edition, Chapter 1

6. Kozinets, Robert V. (1999), “E-Tribalized Marketing?: “The Strategic Implications of Virtual Communities of Consumption”, European Management Journal, Vol. 17, No. 3, 252-64.

7. Cova, Bernard and Cova, Véronique (2002), “Tribal marketing. The tribalisation of society and its impact on the conduct of marketing,” European Journal of Marketing, 36 (5/6), 595-20.

8. Muñiz, Albert M. and Thomas C. O’Guinn (2001), “Brand Community,” Journal of Consumer Research, 27(4) 412-432.

9. McAlexander, James H., John W. Schouten, and Harold F. Koenig (2002), “Building Brand Community,” Journal of Marketing, 66 (January), 38-54.

10. Schau, Hope Jensen, Albert M. Muñiz, Jr., and Eric Arnould (2009), “How Brand Community Practices Create Value,” Journal of Marketing, 73 (September), 30-51.

11. Fournier, Susan and Lara Lee (2009), “Getting Brand Communities Right,” Harvard Business Review, April, 105-111.

12. Kane, Gerald, et al. (2009), Community Relations 2.0, Harvard Business Review, November, 45-50.


CLASS 2: Principles of Online Social Behavior and Social Media—TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010

1. Adam, T. L. and S. Smith (2008), “A Tribe by any Other Name,” in Adam, T. L. and S. Smith (eds.), Electronic tribes. The Virtual Worlds of Geeks, Gamers, and Scammers, University of Texas Press, Austin, USA, 11-20

2. The Wealth of Networks, Yochai Benkler, Chapter 1-2.

3. Sunstein, C. Infotopia, Chapter 1

4. Simmons, Geoff (2008), Marketing to postmodern consumers: introducing the internet chameleon,” European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 No. 3/4, pp. 299-310.

5. Brown, Jo, Broderick, Amanda and Lee, Nick, (2007) “Extending Social Network Theory to Conceptualise On-Line Word-of-Mouth Communication,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21 (3), 2-19.

6. Kozinets, Robert V., Hemetsberger, Andrea and Hope Schau (2008), “The Wisdom of Consumer Crowds: Collective Innovation in the Age of Networked Marketing,” Journal of Macromarketing, 28 (December), 339-354.

7. Molesworth, Mike, and Janice Denegri-Knott (2007), “Digital Play and the Actualization of the Consumer Imagination,” Games and Culture, Vol. 2, No. 2, 114-133.

8. Jenkins, Henry (2007), Convergence Culture: When Old and New Media Collide, Chapter 1.

9. Jayanthi, Rama K. And Jagdip Singh (2010), “Pragmatic Learning Theory: An Inquiry-Action Framework for Distributed Consumer Learning in Online Communities,” Journal of Consumer Research, 36 (April), 1058-1081.

10. Tsai, Jessica (2009), “Everyone’s Social (Already),” Customer Relationship Management, June, 34-38.

11. Rettberg, Jill Walker (2009), “‘Freshly Generated for You, and Barack Obama’ : How Social Media Represent Your Life,” European Journal of Communication, (24), 451-466.

12. Kaplan, Andreas M. and Michael Haenlein (2009), “The fairyland of Second Life: Virtual social worlds and how to use them,” Business Horizons, 52, 563—572

* CLASS EXERCISE: Finding, describing, and evaluating social media marketing campaigns

* Case Study: Burger King’s Subservient Chicken, from www.nowisgone.com


CLASS 3: Applied Netnography: Social Media Marketing Research —WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2010

1. Kozinets, Robert V. (2010), Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online, Chapters 1-7

2. Kozinets, Robert V. (2002), “The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online Communities,” Journal of Marketing Research, 39 (February), 61-72.

3. Kozinets, Robert V. (2006), “Click to Connect: Netnography and Tribal Advertising,” Journal of Advertising Research, 46 (September), 279-288.

4. Brown, Stephen, Robert V. Kozinets, and John F. Sherry, Jr. (2003) “Teaching Old Brands New Tricks: Retro Branding and the Revival of Brand Meaning,” Journal of Marketing, 67 (July) 19-33.

5. Muñiz, Albert M., Jr. and Hope Jensen Schau (2005), “Religiosity in the Abandoned Apple Newton Brand Community,” Journal of Consumer Research. 31(4), 737–747.

6. Nelson, Michelle R. and Cele C. Otnes (2005), “Exploring Cross-Cultural Ambivalence: a Netnography of Intercultural Wedding Message Boards,” Journal of Business Research, 58, 89-95.

7. Annamma Joy, John Sherry Jr., Alladi Venkatesh and Jonathan Deschenes (2009), “Perceiving Images and Telling Tales: A Visual and Verbal Analysis of the Meaning of the Internet, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 19, 556– 566.

8. Locke, Karen and Karen Golden-Biddle (1997), “Constructing opportunities for contribution: Structuring intertextual coherence and ‘problematizing’ in organizational studies,” Academy of Management Journal, 40 (October), 1023-1062.

9. P. N. Limerick (1993), “Dancing with Professors: The Trouble with Academic Prose,” New York Times Book Review, 31 October.

* Case Analysis: Communispace, published by New Communications Review

* Case Analysis: NetBase Solutions, Inc.


* Deliverable and Discussion: Social Media Marketing Research Plan


CLASS 4: Overviewing Strategies and Tactics in a Social/WOM World—THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010

1. Mike Molesworth, Janice Denegri-Knott, (2004) “An exploratory study of the failure of online organisational communication”, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 9 Iss: 4, pp.302 – 316

2. Godes, David, Mayzlin, Dina, Chen, Yubo, Das, Sanjiv Dellarocas, Chrysanthos, Pfeffer, Bruce , Libai, Barak Sen, Subrata, Shi, Mengze and Verlegh, Peeter (2005), “The Firm’s Management of Social Interactions,” Marketing Letters, 6 (3/4), 415–28.

3. Pitt, Leyland F., Watson, Richard T., Berthon, Pierre, Wynn, Donald and George Zinkhan (2006), “The Penguin’s Window: Corporate Brands From an Open-Source Perspective,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 34 (2), 115-127.

4. Kozinets, Robert V. (forthcoming), “Brand Fans: When Entertainment + Marketing Intersect on the Net,” in Tracey Tuten, ed. Enterprise 2.0: How Technology, E-Commerce, and Web 2.0 Are Transforming Business Virtually, Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

5. Wang, Youcheng and Daniel R. Fesenmaier (2003), “Assessing Motivation of Contribution in Online Communities: An Empirical Investigation of an Online Travel Community,” Electronic Markets, 13 (January), 33 – 45.

6. Kozinets, Robert V., Kristine de Valck, Andrea Wojnicki and Sarah Wilner (2010), “Networked Narratives: Understanding Word-of-mouth Marketing in Online Communities,” Journal of Marketing, 74 (March), 71-89.

7. Avery, Jill J., Protecting the Markers of Hegemonic Masculinity: Consumer Resistance to Gender-Bending Brand Extensions (May 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1088802

8. Füller, Johann, Gregor Jawecki, and Hans Mühlbacher (2006), “Innovation Creation by Online Basketball Communities,” Journal of Business Research, 60 (1), 60-71

* Case Analysis: Fiskateers


* Discussion: Initial Findings–Social Media Marketing Research


CLASS 5: Practices and Projects: Metrics, Ethics, and Research—FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010

1. Kozinets (2010), Netnography, Chapters 8, 9 and 10

2. Kozinets, Robert V., Frank-Martin Belz, and Pierre McDonagh (forthcoming), “Social Media for Social Change,” in David Glen Mick, Simone Pettigrew, Cornelia Pechmann, and Julie L. Ozanne, eds. Transformative Consumer Research to Benefit Global Welfare. Rokka, Joonas (2010), “Netnographic inquiry and new translocal sites of the social,” International Journal of Consumer Studies, 34 (4), 381-387.

3. Rokka, Joonas and Johanna Moisander (2009), “Environmental dialogue in online communities: negotiating ecological citizenship among global travelers,” International Journal of Consumer Studies, 33 (2), 199-205.

4. Tsai, Jessica (2009), “Taking the Measure of Social Media,” Customer Relationship Management, July, 17-18.

5. Clemons, Eric K. (2009), “The complex problem of monetizing virtual electronic social networks,” Decision Support Systems, 48, 46–56.

6. Social Media: 20 free e-books about social media: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/20-free-ebooks-about-social-media/ (scan and read at will)

7. Social Media: Research, see: http://www.danah.org: 80/SNSResearch.html, a bibliography from communication, information science, anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, cultural studies, computer science, etc. (scan and read at will)




  1. meglee July 19, 2010
  2. RayPoynter August 22, 2010
  3. scotland November 9, 2010

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