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Journal cover: Internet Research

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Online from: 1991

Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management

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Understanding online community user participation: a social influence perspective

Document Information:
Title:Understanding online community user participation: a social influence perspective
Author(s):Tao Zhou, (School of Management, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou, China)
Citation:Tao Zhou, (2011) "Understanding online community user participation: a social influence perspective", Internet Research, Vol. 21 Iss: 1, pp.67 - 81
Keywords:Communication technologies, Influence, Social norms
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/10662241111104884 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This work was partially supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71001030), a grant from the Humanities and Social Sciences Foundation of the Ministry of Education (09YJC630052), and a grant from the Zhejiang Provincial Social Science Foundation (10CGJJ05YBQ).

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the determinants of online community user participation from a social influence perspective.

Design/methodology/approach – Based on 450 valid responses collected from a survey questionnaire, structural equation modeling (SEM) technology was employed to examine the research model.

Findings – The results show that both social identity and group norm have significant effects on user participation. In addition, group norm affects social identity. It was not possible to find the effect of subjective norm on participation intention.

Research limitations/implications – This research is limited to a particular sample: students. Thus the results need to be generalized to other samples, such as working professionals.

Originality/value – Extant research has mainly focused on the effects of user motivations such as perceived usefulness, trust and commitment on online community user behavior, and seldom considered the effects of social processes including compliance, identification and internalization on user behavior. This research tries to fill the gap.

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