Modeling the relationship between IT-mediated social capital and social support: Key mediating mechanisms of sense of group

Yuan Hui Tsai, Sheng Wuu Joe, Chieh-Peng Lin*, Rong Tsu Wang, Yu Hsiang Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study proposes a model based on social capital theory to explain the formation of social support in virtual groups. Although previous literature suggests a direct effect of social capital on social support in face-to-face groups (e.g., working teams), it remains uncertain if such an effect exists completely in the same way among virtual social groups that count heavily on computer-mediated communication. In this study's proposed model, social support is indirectly influenced by social capital and need for affiliation via the mediation of sense of group (which includes perceived membership, mutual influence, and immersion). Empirical testing of this model, by investigating working professionals in online social networking communities, confirms the applicability of social capital and need for affiliation among virtual groups. Group-level data were analyzed by the technique of path analysis to test our hypotheses. Lastly, managerial implications and limitations of the research are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1592-1604
Number of pages13
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume79
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Immersion
  • Mutual influence
  • Perceived membership
  • Sense of community
  • Social interaction
  • Trust
  • Virtual group

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