Consumer and Object Experience in the Internet of Things: An Assemblage Theory Approach

77 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2016 Last revised: 24 Sep 2016

See all articles by Donna L. Hoffman

Donna L. Hoffman

George Washington University School of Business

Thomas Novak

George Washington University School of Business

Date Written: August 21, 2016

Abstract

The consumer Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to revolutionize consumer experience. Because consumers can actively interact with smart objects, the traditional, human-centric conceptualization of consumer experience as consumers’ internal subjective responses to branded objects may not be sufficient to conceptualize consumer experience in the IoT. Smart objects possess their own point of view and their own experience in interactions with the consumer and with each other. We develop a conceptual framework based on assemblage theory and object-oriented ontology that details how consumer experience and object experience emerge in the IoT. We anchor our conceptualization in the context of smart home assemblages and introduce the idea that consumer experience, through its emergent properties and capacities, has two broad facets: extension experience and expansion experience. We develop a parallel conceptualization of the construct of object experience, arguing that it can be perceived by consumers through the mechanism of anthropomorphism. Interaction of consumer and object experiences lead to the emergence of relationship styles defined by combinations of agentic and communal orientations that consumers and objects express during interaction. Our framework extends considerations of consumer behavior to objects and has implications for studying emergence from interaction in the face of dynamic change.

Keywords: agentic orientation, anthropomorphism, assemblage theory, communal orientation, consumer-object relationships,consumer experience,emergence,intelligent devices,interaction,Internet of Things,object experience,OOO,self-expansion,self-extension,smart home

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Donna L. and Novak, Thomas, Consumer and Object Experience in the Internet of Things: An Assemblage Theory Approach (August 21, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2840975 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2840975

Donna L. Hoffman (Contact Author)

George Washington University School of Business ( email )

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Washington, DC 20052
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HOME PAGE: http://postsocial.gwu.edu

Thomas Novak

George Washington University School of Business ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
9515431592 (Phone)

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