Title: Social Capital: An Influence on Critical to Success Factors in Online Brand Communities

Authors: Stephanie Meek; Claire Lambert; Maria M. Ryan; Madeleine Ogilvie

Addresses: Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6027, Australia ' Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6027, Australia ' Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6027, Australia ' Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6027, Australia

Abstract: This study investigates the influence of social capital on the factors that are critical to continued participation in online brand communities (OBCs). The empirical investigation follows a structural equation modelling approach with data from 659 OBC members. Results indicate that social capital as a multidimensional construct represented by shared language, shared vision, social trust and reciprocity has a significant influence on an OBC members' participative behaviour, their sense of belonging (SOB), network ties, perceived enjoyment and perceived ease of use; all of which ensure longevity of the community. Consequently, stakeholders can use this information to develop strategies that will ensure the ongoing success of their OBCs.

Keywords: online brand community; OBC; brand management; social capital; participative behaviour; sense of belonging; SOB; network ties; perceived ease of use; PEU; perceived enjoyment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2018.094920

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2018 Vol.14 No.3, pp.268 - 288

Received: 02 Jul 2017
Accepted: 24 Apr 2018

Published online: 20 Sep 2018 *

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