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A Hermeneutic Phenomenological study of Online Community Participation Applications of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps

Galehbakhtiari, Sara; Pouryasouri, Tahmours

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Tahmours Pouryasouri


Online communities are increasingly playing a major role in the internet market. They have become an integrated part of internet users' interests and achievements. Understanding the factors which encourage individuals to participate in such communities, will serve as the principal guideline for the founders in assisting them to obtain requisite approvals to develop their business goals, plans and procedures. This paper uses a mixed methodology in order to identify the strongest motivational paths towards online community participation. A Hermeneutic Phenomenological approach has been applied in order to illustrate users' lived experience and extract the motivations from deep semi-structured interviews with interdisciplinary experts in the fields of psychology, consumer behavior, Information technology and e-commerce. In this paper, the application of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs), as an innovative approach in modelling consumer motivations for online community participation has been discussed. Although motivations have been widely studied over the past few years, no one has focused on the causal relations between them. This study gives a comprehensive understanding of causal relations-to determine whether changes in one variable result in changes in another-and their strengths as well as strongest paths toward online community participation which helps decision-makers reach the desirable level of user's participation in online communities.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 3, 2015
Online Publication Date Mar 6, 2015
Publication Date 2015-07
Deposit Date Dec 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 20, 2019
Print ISSN 0747-5632
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Pages 637-643
Keywords Online Consumer Behavior; Motivation; Online Community Participation; Fuzzy Cognitive Maps; Hermeneutic Phenomenology; Mixed Methodology
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