Journal of Information Resources Management ›› 2014, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (4): 24-33.doi: 10.13365/j.jirm.2014.04.024

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Interactions Inside/outside of a Particular Virtual Community Affect on Senior Citizens’ Participating Behaviors

Zhou Junjie Zuo Meiyun Xie Fangwen   

  • Received:2013-12-06 Online:2014-12-26 Published:2014-12-26


Administrators in “senior citizen”-specific virtual communities (VCs) are facing two problems: the member size is usually very small and senior citizen users are usually not as active as youth. Exploring the factors affecting senior citizens’ participating behaviors in VCs will not only bring insights into administrators, but also help scholars to better understand senior citizens’ online behaviors. Based on social cognition theory and “motivation-opportunity-ability” theory of behavior, this paper identifies that the interactions inside/outside of a particular virtual community as environment factors, outcome expectation, self-efficacy and sense of virtual community as personal cognitive factors are the potential influencing factors. Using the data collected by participant observation, in-depth interview and user access log, we test the hypothesis model through qualitative analysis, and presume that the environment factors such as perceived interactions inside and interactions outside have direct effect and indirect effect on senior citizens’ participant behavior through personal cognition in VCs. Finally, the implications and limitations are also discussed.

Key words: Virtual community, Interaction inside of a particular virtual community,  Interaction outside of a particular virtual community,  Senior citizen,  Participant behavior,  Social cognition,  Community management

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