Members' commitment in online health communities: the case of MedicineAfrica

Chamakiotis, Petros and Panteli, Niki (2018) Members' commitment in online health communities: the case of MedicineAfrica. European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2018): "Beyond Digitalization — Facets of Socio-Technical Change", Portsmouth, UK, June 23-28. Published in: Proceedings of ECIS 2018. Portsmouth, UK.

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Online communities have gained multidisciplinary attention in both the academic and practitioner literature. Some of this literature has taken a focus on online communities in the healthcare context (aka online health communities), with recent studies highlighting their potential to contribute to social value creation, for example by reducing the divide between regional and other health disparities. In this research-in-progress paper, we present a case study we conducted with MedicineAfrica; an online health community with the aim of improving healthcare education in countries with fragile healthcare systems. Based on interviews, online observations, and documentary analysis, our study explores: (a) the factors that enhance volunteer-members’ commitment to the online community, resulting in them staying longer than they initially expected; and (b) the impact of members’ commitment on the roles they undertake on the online platform. It is found that, with increased commitment, members of online health communities tend to undertake not just more roles but roles with leading responsibilities as well as take on initiatives for new online activities. We discuss our preliminary analysis so far, which is followed by the study’s implications and further research.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
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Depositing User: Petros Chamakiotis
Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 08:38
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2018 14:52

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