A Social Influence Model of Consumer Participation in Network- and Small-Group-Based Virtual Communities
International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2004
47 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2004
We investigate two key group-level determinants of virtual community participation - group norms and social identity - and consider their motivational antecedents and mediators. We also introduce a marketing-relevant typology to conceptualize virtual communities, based on the distinction between network-based, and small-group-based virtual communities. Our survey-based study, which was conducted across a broad range of virtual communities, supports the proposed model, and finds further that virtual community type moderates consumers' reasons for participating, as well as the strengths of their impact on group norms and social identity. We conclude with a consideration of managerial and research implications of the findings.
Keywords: Virtual communities, internet marketing, consumer behavior, electronic commerce, we-intentions
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