Organizational Virtual Communities:
Exploring Motivations Behind Online Panel Participation

Authors

  • Terry Daugherty,

    Corresponding author
    1. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on investigating virtual experiences and strategic media management, with work appearing in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Journal of Interactive Marketing, among others.
    • Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: College of Communication, CMA 7.142, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

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  • Wei-Na Lee,

    Corresponding author
    1. An Associate Professor of Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include cross-cultural consumer behavior, multicultural marketing communication, and consumer acculturation in a technology-mediated environment. Her previous work has appeared in Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research,International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Business Research, Psychology & Marketing, and Journal of International Consumer Marketing, among others.
    • Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: College of Communication, CMA 7.142, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

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  • Harsha Gangadharbatla,

    Corresponding author
    1. A doctoral student in the Department of Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include consumer behavior, presence, virtual reality, and the economic effects of advertising. His research has appeared in the Journal of Interactive Advertising and Advances in Electronic Marketing, among others.
    • Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: College of Communication, CMA 7.142, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

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  • Kihan Kim,

    Corresponding author
    1. A doctoral student in the Department of Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on survey and experimental designs related to information technology, persuasive communication, non-traditional advertising tactics, and interactive advertising.
    • Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: College of Communication, CMA 7.142, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

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  • Sounthaly Outhavong

    Corresponding author
    1. A doctoral student in the Department of Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interests explore branding via The Center for Brand Research at the University of Texas.
    • Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: College of Communication, CMA 7.142, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

      Address: Department of Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1200, Austin, TX 78712 USA

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

One type of virtual community that has emerged prominently within the commercially-driven marketing research industry is the online panel. Online panels are opt-in, informed consent, privacy-protected subject pools recruited for Web-based research. Unlike virtual communities forged from interpersonal motivations, online panels represent a community of participants who have agreed to provide information at regular intervals over a period of time. This study presents and tests a theoretical framework governed by the functional theory of attitude that serves to explain motivations for online panel participation. Analysis of data from a survey administered to an online panel (N=1,822) indicates that a person's attitude toward joining an online panel will vary by his or her source of motivation, and that an online panel is capable of evoking a sense of community despite the lack of social interaction among members.

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