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User’s feedback contribution to enhance professional online community: a motivational process

Tingting Zhang (School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China)
William Yu Chung Wang (School of Management and Marketing, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)
Angsana A. Techatassanasoontorn (Department of Business Information Systems, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 21 June 2019

Issue publication date: 12 September 2019




The purpose of this study is to investigate the motivational process underlying users’ intention to provide feedback on user-contributed knowledge in professional online communities. User feedback can serve as a means of indicating the credibility of the online content, which can help community members in their knowledge-seeking process. Adopting such a user feedback mechanism is beneficial for users to identify relevant and credible content efficiently and for an online community to sustain itself.


Drawing on self-determination theory, an integrated model is proposed. In this model, behavioural intention is defined as the consequence of motivational orientations whose antecedences include various social factors. The model is empirically tested using survey data collected online and the structural equation modelling techniques.


The results show that users’ intention to provide feedback is primarily influenced by autonomous motivation. Autonomous motivation is in turn affected by social factors, including reciprocity, online reputation, trust in the user involvement mechanisms and affective and normative community commitments.


This study adds value to prior studies by stressing the significance and feasibility of user feedback in helping members of professional online communities with their knowledge-seeking process. It also contributes to the literature on user participation in these communities by showing the efficacy of a motivational process perspective and the role of motivational orientations, in particular, in explaining users’ behavioural intention.



The authors acknowledge the financial supports of the China National Natural Science Foundation Project (grant number 71531013; 71729001) during data analysis and writing the manuscript.


Zhang, T., Wang, W.Y.C. and Techatassanasoontorn, A.A. (2019), "User’s feedback contribution to enhance professional online community: a motivational process", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 307-326.



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