The process of generating rhetoric to encourage participation in Delayed Benefit Services: A case study of electronic community currency in Japan

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Shinichi KanekiyoYasunobu Ito

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to identify how rhetoric is generated to create participants' motivations for the electronic community currency for the purpose of gifting, through considering it as a kind of Delayed Benefit Services. This is a case study of the start-up phase of the electronic community currency introduced in the Matsumoto area of Japan in December 2020.Services can have a time lag between the service delivery process and the point at which the benefits can be received by the customer. Such services are named Delayed Benefit Services (Fujimura 2016). Typical examples of such services are health and education services.The benefit of the electronic community currency in the case study is the creation of a sustainable local economic community based on giving. The currency has a built-in feature called 'gift', which can be paid on top of the payment. To facilitate gifting, the currency expires three months after the charge. There are no immediate economic benefits for users, such as discounts or points awarded. On the other hand, it is expected to take time for users to receive the benefit of creating sustainable local economic community. Therefore, this electronic community currency is also considered to be one of the Delayed Benefit Services.This case differs from that of health services and education services. Patients in health services and students in educational services have clear benefits that they can receive as individuals. On the other hand, while the benefit for users of electronic community currency is the creation of sustainable local economic community, the benefits are difficult for individual users to experience directly. This makes it difficult for users to find an incentive to participate in the service. Therefore, the service provider, the operator of the electronic local currency, must first create a motivation for users to participate in the service. This study focuses on rhetoric as a way for the operators of electronic local currencies to influence users' motivations to participate. Rhetoric is used when the situation surrounding an organization is uncertain. The public messages and discourses used in rhetoric are considered in terms of what interactions are constructed (Cheney et al. 2004). The electronic community currency in this case study is in the start-up phase and is under uncertainty as to whether it will attract users. The paper therefore focuses on the process by which the currency operator generates rhetoricShortly after the launch of the currency, it was found that the rhetoric explaining the benefit of building local economic community based on giving was not well supported. The manager therefore generated new rhetoric. The research revealed that the process of generating new rhetoric involved dialogue with a variety of others. It was also found that through dialogue with others, the currency manager reframed the benefit itself. This paper suggests that there is a case for providers to change the rhetoric of the benefit and revise the benefit itself in the start-up phase of Delayed Benefit Services. (491words)

Keywords: service, community currency, rhetoric

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003113

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