Consumer and Object Experience in the Internet of Things: An Assemblage Theory Approach
77 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2016 Last revised: 24 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 21, 2016
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: Suggested Citation