Encouraging participation in virtual communities through usability and sociability development: An empirical investigation

Xianghua Lu, Chee Wei Phang, Jie Yu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Usability and sociability are two characteristics of a virtual community that are critical to its success. This study aims to explore how usability and sociability of virtual communities can be developed in order to encourage members' continuous participation in these communities. A theoretical model is proposed to explain the effects of factors related to usability and sociability on members' continuous participation through the motivational beliefs of perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment and sense of belonging. Data was collected from members of five popular leisure-oriented virtual communities in China. The results show that both perceived enjoyment and sense of belonging impact members' continuous participation intention. Among the usability-and sociability-related factors, we find that information service quality is the most critical factor that encourages members to continuously participate in virtual communities, while interaction support quality, incentive policy, and event organization also have positive effects on members' continuous participation intention via perceived enjoyment and sense of belonging. Surprisingly, leaders' involvement has no impact on members' continuous participation. Implications of the study's findings for both research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-114
Number of pages19
JournalData Base for Advances in Information Systems
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Continuous participation
  • Sociability
  • Usability
  • Virtual communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Encouraging participation in virtual communities through usability and sociability development: An empirical investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this