How do Group Performances Affect Users’ Contributions in Online Communities? A Cross-Level Moderation Model

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Taylor & Francis

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Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce

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Online community managers are seeking effective ways to encourage users to exhibit prosocial behaviors that help sustain the growth and effectiveness of online communities. One tactic is to set up small groups to build relationships and facilitate communications. In addition to social norms formed and shared among all community users, individuals are also subjected to potential influence from peers with whom they directly communicated within the group. This study integrated social exchange theory with group influence theory to investigate how the influences of reputation and reciprocity on users’ contributions were modified under two categories of group influences, i.e., informational and normative influence. Based on a longitudinal observation of over 3,000 members from 72 subgroups in an online community, we developed a cross-level moderation model to enrich our understanding of users’ contribution behavior with the influence of group performances. This study provides guidelines for online community administrators to create and foster effective communities for knowledge contribution and exchange.


Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, Vol. 30, No. 2 (2020): 129-149. DOI.