An empirical study of the driving forces behind online communities
|Author||Toral, S. L.
Martínez Torres, María del Rocío
Cortés Cobos, Francisco Javier
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Administración de Empresas y Comercialización e Investigación de Mercados (Marketing)
Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Ingeniería Electrónica
|Published in||Internet Research, 19(4), 378-392|
|Abstract||Purpose – A large variety of online communities have emerged during the last years as a result of
the challenges faced by both the business and scientific worlds. This trend has also been promoted by the development of ...
Purpose – A large variety of online communities have emerged during the last years as a result of the challenges faced by both the business and scientific worlds. This trend has also been promoted by the development of internet and new Web 2.0 technologies. In this context, this paper is focused on the determinants of success of online communities. But, as a difference from other studies, these determinants are analyzed from the social network analysis perspective. Several constructs related to the community organization as a social network are proposed and their interrelations are hypothesized in a general research framework. The obtained results test the proposed model providing the most relevant antecedents of the project success. Design/methodology/approach – A case study based on Linux ports to non-conventional processor and environments is used to test the proposed model. Structural equation modeling analysis is used to validate the structural proposed model. Findings – The main antecedents of online communities’ success, quantifying the strength of the relation through the standardized path coefficients. Research limitations/implications – The research is limited to a particular set of online communities engaged with the development of the non-conventional Linux ports. However, they constitute a representative set of communities in the field of the open source projects (OSS) development, which are typically developed using a community of support. Originality/value – This paper fulfils the main antecedents causing the successful development of Internet virtual communities. Instead of using sources of data coming from users’ surveys, this study employs community interactions as a source of data. Results have important implications over the development of online communities, like software business models based on virtual communities and open source software