Embeddedness, Pro-Sociality, and Social Influence: Evidence from Online Crowdfunding

MIS Quarterly, Forthcoming

35 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2018

See all articles by Yili Hong

Yili Hong

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business

Yuheng Hu

University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Business Administration

Gordon Burtch

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Date Written: February 18, 2018

Abstract

This paper examines how i) a crowdfunding campaign's pro-sociality (the production of a public versus private good), ii) the social network structure (embeddedness) among individuals advocating for the campaign on social media, and iii) the volume of social media activity around a campaign, jointly determine fundraising from the crowd. Integrating the emerging literature on social media and crowdfunding with the literature on social networks and public goods, we theorize that pro-socially, public-oriented crowdfunding campaigns will benefit disproportionately from social media activity when advocates' social media networks exhibit greater levels of embeddedness. Drawing on a panel dataset that combines campaign fundraising activity associated with more than 1,000 campaigns on Kickstarter, with campaign-related social media activity on Twitter, we construct network-level measures of embeddedness between and amongst individuals initiating the latter, in terms of transitivity and topological overlap. We demonstrate that Twitter activity drives a disproportionate increase in fundraising for pro-socially oriented crowdfunding campaigns when posting users' networks exhibit greater embeddedness. We discuss the theoretical implications of our findings, highlighting how our work extends prior research on the role of embeddedness in peer influence by demonstrating the joint roles of message features and network structure in the peer influence process. Our work suggests that when a transmitter's message is pro-social or cause-oriented, embeddedness will play a stronger role in determining influence. We also discuss the broader theoretical implications for the literatures on social media, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and private contributions to public goods. Finally, we highlight the practical implications for marketers, campaign organizers, and crowdfunding platform operators.

Keywords: Crowdfunding, Social Media, Peer Influence, Social Sharing, Social Marketing, Public Good, Network Embeddedness, Pro-Social Campaigns

Suggested Citation

Hong, Yili and Hu, Yuheng and Burtch, Gordon, Embeddedness, Pro-Sociality, and Social Influence: Evidence from Online Crowdfunding (February 18, 2018). MIS Quarterly, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3125936

Yili Hong (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3706
United States

HOME PAGE: http://yilihong.github.io/

Yuheng Hu

University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Business Administration ( email )

601 S Morgan St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

HOME PAGE: http://yuhenghu.com

Gordon Burtch

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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