The hidden mechanisms for online community growth

Chamakiotis, P., Panteli, N. & Petrakaki, D. (2020), LSE Business Review

We live in an era of social media and online communities where much of what used to happen face to face has moved online. Even more so in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. How relevant are existing management theories within this new context? Can we simply mimic traditional management practices or do we need to modify them (or even discard them)?

Online communities constitute one such example of an online space where individuals from around the world get together to exchange knowledge and experiences around an issue of interest. It is widely believed that the success of an online community depends on its membership growth. However, findings from our recent study lead to new insights challenging existing knowledge and are likely to contribute to a change in how organisations do things on the ground. We reveal that other factors matter much more than the community’s member-base!

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