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Understanding virtual community members’ relationships from individual, group, and social influence perspectives

Wen-Hai Chih (Department of Business Administration, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien, Taiwan)
Li-Chun Hsu (Department of Cultural Resources and Leisure Industries, National Taitung University, Taitung, Taiwan)
Dah-Kwei Liou (Department of Finance, Chihlee University of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to explore a model of how people are influenced from the perspectives of individuals (cognitive trust and affective trust), group (sense of virtual community), and social influence (normative influence and information influence) factors.


This research adopts structural equation modeling to test the proposed model and the structural model shows a good fit. This research sample consists of 312 members who have used Facebook for at least six months.


The results indicate the following. Both cognitive trust and affective trust have effects on members’ sense of virtual community. Cognitive trust, affective trust, and sense of virtual community have effects on both normative influence and informative influence, respectively. Members in a virtual community could create a sense of virtual community via affective trust. Members’ sense of virtual community partially mediates between cognitive/affective trust and normative/informative influence.


This study investigates the multiple perspectives of the interpersonal interaction between individual, community, and social influence.



Chih, W.-H., Hsu, L.-C. and Liou, D.-K. (2017), "Understanding virtual community members’ relationships from individual, group, and social influence perspectives", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 117 No. 6, pp. 990-1010.



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