To read this content please select one of the options below:

Dimensions of online community attributes: Examination of online communities hosted by companies in Korea

Hye‐Shin Kim (Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA)
Jin Yong Park (College of Business Administration, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea)
Byoungho Jin (Department of Design, Housing, and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 5 September 2008




The purpose of this paper is to develop online community attributes based on Preece's sociability and usability framework to assess how online community attributes hosted by retailers or national brand companies may generate positive outcomes for consumers. Also, this study seeks to examine the effects of attribute dimensions on consumer benefits to verify its predictability.


An online survey was administered in South Korea. A questionnaire was constructed which contained 26 items measuring online community attributes. These items were developed by the researchers to measure seven dimensions defining Preece's sociability and usability conceptual framework. The items were based on examples of determinants and measures of successful online communities. The Korean sample consisted of 135 male and 216 female adults in a large metropolitan area in South Korea.


Results partially supported Preece's sociability and usability framework. Results show three online community attribute dimensions purpose, people, and policy to be represented by a higher order factor sociability and two attribute dimensions dialogue and social interaction and navigation represented by usability. The structural model testing the relationship between sociability and social benefits and usability and functional benefits was confirmed and proved predictive validity for the online community attribute dimensions and the sociability/usability framework. On the other hand, no evidence of sociability influencing perceptions of functional benefits and usability influencing perceptions of social benefits could be found. Nonetheless, these results provide evidence that Preece's online community attribute framework measures “success” from a consumer benefits standpoint.


This study provides retailers and companies who host online communities with a practical tool with which they can assess their online communities as well as their online strategy.



Kim, H., Yong Park, J. and Jin, B. (2008), "Dimensions of online community attributes: Examination of online communities hosted by companies in Korea", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 36 No. 10, pp. 812-830.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles