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Reciprocity and commitment in online travel communities

Daniel Belanche (Department of Marketing Management and Marketing Research, University of Zaragoza , Zaragoza, Spain)
Luis V. Casaló (Department of Marketing Management and Marketing Research, University of Zaragoza , Zaragoza, Spain)
Carlos Flavián (Department of Marketing Management and Marketing Research, University of Zaragoza , Zaragoza, Spain)
Miguel Guinalíu (Department of Marketing Management and Marketing Research, University of Zaragoza , Zaragoza, Spain)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 21 September 2018

Issue publication date: 21 February 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

With social exchange theory as a basis, the purpose of this paper is to seek a better understanding of advice processes in online travel communities, which offer crucial advice for travelers’ decisions. It also predicts that relational capital variables (commitment, reciprocity perceptions) moderate the main relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from a web survey of 456 users of online travel communities affirm the scale’s validity and provide the input for structural equation modeling and multisample analyses of the hypotheses.

Findings

Higher levels of commitment reinforce the effect of following past advice on passive and active participation intentions. Users’ perceptions of reciprocity in the community strengthen the influence of following past advice on active participation. However, a high level of reciprocity causes users following past advice to reduce their intentions to continue following that advice.

Practical implications

Management tactics should specify active and passive participation in online travel communities. Specifically, to encourage the creation of high-quality new content, community managers should create interactive environments marked by high levels of reciprocity and commitment.

Originality/value

This research elucidates the role of relational capital variables in advice processes and advances understanding of online travel communities.

Keywords

Citation

Belanche, D., Casaló, L.V., Flavián, C. and Guinalíu, M. (2019), "Reciprocity and commitment in online travel communities", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 119 No. 2, pp. 397-411. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-03-2018-0098

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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