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Effects of member similarity on group norm conformity, group identity and social participation in the context of social networking sites

Edward Wang (National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan)
Yu-Ting Liao (National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 4 April 2023

549

Abstract

Purpose

Facilitating members' continual participation in a community is crucial for ensuring the community's long-term survival. However, knowledge regarding whether member similarity is related to member participation and the mechanism underlying this relationship is limited. Drawing on similarity–attraction, social exchange and social identity theories, this study explored the influences of different facets of similarity (i.e. value, personality and goal similarity) on group norm conformity, group identity and social participation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 444 Taiwanese members of social networking sites (SNSs), and structural equation modeling was employed to examine the hypothesized relationships.

Findings

The results revealed that value similarity directly affected group norm conformity but did not directly affect group identity; personality similarity influenced group identity but not group norm conformity. Goal similarity had positive influences on group norm conformity and group identity. Moreover, group norm conformity had direct and positive influences on group identity and social participation; group identity also had a positive influence on social participation.

Originality/value

On the basis of the aforementioned findings, this study contributes to the understanding of factors facilitating SNS members' participation from the perspective of similarity. These findings can serve as a reference for SNS administrators to facilitate social participation by emphasizing member similarity.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan. Grant number: 108-2410-H-005 -050.

Citation

Wang, E. and Liao, Y.-T. (2023), "Effects of member similarity on group norm conformity, group identity and social participation in the context of social networking sites", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-09-2021-0632

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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