• Active participation in business-to-business online communities: a conceptual framework

      Gharib, Rebwar Kamal; Philpott, Elly; Duan, Yanqing; University of Strathclyde; University of Bedfordshire (Association for Information Systems, 2014)
      Online communities (OCs) have been studied for the past several decades by many scholars from different disciplines and backgrounds. It is found that the success of an OC largely depends on its members’ participation and contribution behaviour. While significant research has examined the factors affecting participation in various OC types ranging from online communities of practice to online social networking sites, little research has focused on Business-to-Business (B2B) OCs. Hence, the primarily aim of this paper is to provide some understanding of the most important factors affecting active participation in B2B OCs. Towards achieving this goal, this study proposed a theoretical framework underpinned by two well-known theories: Social Exchange Theory (SET) and Uses and Gratification theory (U&G). This study contributes to the OC literature by defining and classifying online business communities and proposes a theoretical model to address active participation in B2B OC. This is a theoretical study and its application has not been tested on a particular community, the next step therefore is to conduct future studies to empirically test the framework with B2B OCs members.
    • Towards understanding members’ participation behaviour in B2B virtual communities: a socio-technical approach

      Gharib, Rebwar Kamal; Philpott, Elly; University of Strathclyde; University of Bedfordshire (Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems, 2014)
      The importance of virtual communities for businesses has been well documented in the literature. Particularly, information and knowledge exchange has been identified as one of the main reasons for businesses to participate in virtual communities. The success of a virtual community depends on the members’ active contribution to the community. A considerable amount of literature has been published on factors affecting members’ participation behaviour in various community types. Limited research has focused on B2B virtual communities. Subsequently, there is limited understanding of what motivates businesses to actively participate in their virtual communities. Hence, the primary goal of this paper is to provide some understanding of the crucial factors determine businesses’ participation behaviours in virtual community environments. Towards achieving this aim, this study proposed an integrated framework underpinned by two well-known theories: Social Exchange Theory and Information System Success Model. The proposed framework in this paper is only theoretical and therefore its application has yet to be tested with a particular B2B virtual community. Subsequently, further studies will be conducted with members of B2B virtual communities to empirically test the framework.