Beyond the call of duty: Why customers contribute to firm-hosted commercial online communities

Wiertz, C. & de Ruyter, K. (2007). Beyond the call of duty: Why customers contribute to firm-hosted commercial online communities. Organization Studies, 28(3), pp. 347-376. doi: 10.1177/0170840607076003

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Firm-hosted commercial online communities, in which customers interact to solve each other's service problems, represent a fascinating context to study the motivations of collective action in the form of knowledge contribution to the community. We extend a model of social capital based on Wasko and Faraj (2005) to incorporate and contrast the direct impact of commitment to both the online community and the host firm, as well as reciprocity, on quality and quantity of knowledge contribution. In addition, we examine the moderating influence of three individual attributes that are particularly relevant to the firm-hosted community context: perceived informational value, sportsmanship, and online interaction propensity. We empirically test our framework using self-reported and objective data from 203 members of a firm-hosted technical support community. In addition to several interesting moderating effects, we find that a customer's online interaction propensity, commitment to the community, and the informational value s/he perceives in the community are the strongest drivers of knowledge contribution.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: collective action, social capital, firm-hosted commercial online communities, online interaction propensity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
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