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Title: Understanding the sustainability of online question answering communities in China : the case of "Yahoo! Answers China"
Other Titles: Tan tao wang shang wen da she qu de ke chi xu xing fa zhan tan : "Yahu zhi shi tang" an li fen xi
探讨网上问答社区的可持续性发展探 : "雅虎知识堂"案例分析
Authors: Jin, Xiao Ling Kathy (金晓玲)
Department: Department of Information Systems
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Online social networks.
Question-answering systems -- Social aspects.
Notes: CityU Call Number: HM742 .J56 2009
ix, 106 leaves : ill. 30 cm.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 88-106)
Type: thesis
Abstract: The advent of web 2.0 provides new ways for question answering (Q&A) services. Web 2.0 enabled Q&A communities are online communities dedicated for users to exchange their knowledge in the form of asking and answering questions. They have become extremely popular recently since they are beneficial to both individual users and community practitioners. Previous research has widely claimed that the long-term sustainability of information systems and online social networks are determined by users’ continued participate rather than first-time usage. This indicates that motivating members to continue answering questions in online Q&A communities is essential to the long-term sustainability of these communities. Given the importance of users’ continuance in answering questions in online Q&A communities, it is surprising that so little work has been conducted in this area. Filling this research gap, this study develops a research model to investigate the antecedents of user intention to continue answering questions in online Q&A communities based on theories of social exchange, satisfaction, identity orientations and self-efficacy. In particular, this study examines (1) the relationship between behavioral Intention of continued knowledge contribution in online Q&A communities and users’ feelings of satisfaction and knowledge self-efficacy, (2) how the post-contribution feelings of knowledge self-efficacy and satisfaction are increased by the outcome performance of knowledge contribution, and (3) how users’ identity orientations moderate the relationships between different kinds of knowledge contribution performances (self-referent benefits and community-referent benefits) and user satisfaction. In order to test the proposed research model and hypotheses, a total of 241 returns collected from an online survey conducted among users of a famous online Q&A community in China, namely, ―Yahoo! Answers China‖ were analyzed using partial least squares. The results indicate that users’ intention to continue answering questions in ―Yahoo! Answers China‖ is primarily determined by satisfaction but also by knowledge self-efficacy. The results indicate that satisfaction is increased by reputation enhancement, advancement of the online community and knowledge self-efficacy. Knowledge self-efficacy is, on the other hand, affected by enjoyment in helping others and advancement of the online community. However, the direct influences of personal (extrinsic reward, reputation enhancement, reciprocity and enjoyment in helping others) or collective outcome performances (advancement of the online community) on continuance intention are insignificant. Further, the results show that users’ collective outcome performance (i.e., advancement of the online community) has a significant influence on satisfaction when users’ collective identity orientation is higher than their personal identity orientation. In contrast, the relationship between reciprocity (one type of personal outcome performance) and satisfaction is significant when users’ collective identity orientation is lower than their personal identity orientation. The findings of this study contribute to both theory building in the sustainability of online Q&A communities and practice in the management of online Q&A communities.
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