Original Research

Antecedents of citizenship behaviour in online customer communities: An empirical investigation

Mercy Mpinganjira
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 18, No 2 | a725 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v18i2.725 | © 2016 Mercy Mpinganjira | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 November 2015 | Published: 26 August 2016

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Mercy Mpinganjira, Department of Marketing Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Background: Use of online communities for knowledge generation has become a common phenomenon. In order for online communities to serve as affective spaces for knowledge generation and exchange, members need to behave in ways that are in line with good citizenship. However, because of the limited research, not much is known about citizenship behaviour in such communities and the factors that foster such conduct.

Objectives: This article aims to examine the performance of citizenship behaviours by members of online customer communities, and the factors that influence this.

Methodology: Data were collected from 303 contributing members of online customer communities using a structured questionnaire. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data collected.

Results: The findings show moderate levels of engagement in citizenship behaviours among the respondents. Engagement in citizenship behaviours was in general found to be influenced more by the level of affective commitment towards the community than by the perceived levels of social support. Both affective commitment and perceived social support were found to have less influence on compliant citizenship behaviour when compared with altruism and personal initiative. Affective commitment was found to influence personal initiative most strongly, while social support had its strongest influence on altruism.

Conclusion: The results provide insights for managers of online customer communities into factors to which they should give attention in order to enhance the performance of citizenship behaviours.


Citizenship Behaviour; Social Support; Affective Commitment; Altruism; Compliance


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