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Beware the community type: engagement and growth in core vs. open online communities
Media, Management and Transformation Center (MMTC), Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
Media, Management and Transformation Center (MMTC), Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE). Media, Management and Transformation Center (MMTC), Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8304-5321
2024 (English)In: Small Business Economics, ISSN 0921-898X, E-ISSN 1573-0913, Vol. 62, p. 1383-1407Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Entrepreneurs can benefit from the communities they build. Therefore, many entrepreneurs create online communities that allow self-selected stakeholders, such as customers, crowd investors, or enthusiasts, to interact with the venture and other like-minded individuals. However, research on how entrepreneurs can successfully engage community members and grow such online communities is only slowly emerging. In particular, it is unclear if, how much, and which content entrepreneurs should contribute to foster engagement in different types of communities and which role these community types play in the community’s overall growth. Based on a longitudinal case study in the video game industry, we first theorize and show that—depending on the community type—both too much and too little entrepreneur-provided content fails to leverage community engagement potential and that different communities require more or less diverging content. We then theorize and show that community growth is largely driven by engagement in open communities, such as those hosted on social media. We outline the implications this has for entrepreneurs, our understanding of online communities, and entrepreneurial communities more generally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024. Vol. 62, p. 1383-1407
Keywords [en]
Brand community, Digital entrepreneurship, Governance, M13, M15, Online community, Social media, User engagement
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-214770DOI: 10.1007/s11187-023-00821-yISI: 001067574300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85171558170OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-214770DiVA, id: diva2:1801888
Projects
Reaping the benefits of digitalization for stakeholder management: Making open stakeholder management work
Funder
Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, MMW 2018.0056Available from: 2023-10-03 Created: 2023-10-03 Last updated: 2024-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Steigenberger, Norbert

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