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Applying CMC Theoreis to Assess Virtual Community
Unformatted Document Text:  CMC Theories and Virtual Community 15 the motivation for offering help to online community members can be explained by two theory: self-identity theory and organizational citizenship. Self-identity theory explains that helping others can increase self-esteem, organizational identification, self-respect, respect from others, and feelings of commitment (Orr, 1989). This reasoning suggests that personal benefits may lead people to offer help even in the absence of personal acquaintance, similarity, or the likelihood of direct reciprocity (Constant, Sproull, & Kiesler, 1996). Organizational citizenship explains that, instead of being motivated by personal benefits, “people with higher level of organizational orientation are more likely to sensitive to the needs of others and further adjust their advice to meet the needs of help seekers (p.121). Also when people have positive attitude for social systems (i.e., organizations or communities), there are norms of generalized reciprocity among them cultivated through the expectation or previous experience of being help. Whether it is motivated by personal benefits of organizational citizenship, offering help in community is more related to maintaining the social institution of network as common resource. Even if they are motivated by good causes, it may be discouraging for the help lenders to continue their contributions if there is low level of appreciation or feedback. For help seekers, it is also unsatisfactory when the helps from strangers are not met to their needs or expectations. These issues can be solved by achieving “critical mass” because once a critical mass of contributors is achieved, the legitimacy and value of contributing can be self-reinforcing (Constant, Sproull, & Kiesler, 1996). Computer networks make it easy to reach large numbers of people faster and connect them with weak ties. It is also easier to post helps and respond to them through computer networks.

Authors: Chung, Siyoung.
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CMC Theories and Virtual Community
15
the motivation for offering help to online community members can be explained by two
theory: self-identity theory and organizational citizenship. Self-identity theory explains
that helping others can increase self-esteem, organizational identification, self-respect,
respect from others, and feelings of commitment (Orr, 1989). This reasoning suggests
that personal benefits may lead people to offer help even in the absence of personal
acquaintance, similarity, or the likelihood of direct reciprocity (Constant, Sproull, &
Kiesler, 1996). Organizational citizenship explains that, instead of being motivated by
personal benefits, “people with higher level of organizational orientation are more likely
to sensitive to the needs of others and further adjust their advice to meet the needs of
help seekers (p.121). Also when people have positive attitude for social systems (i.e.,
organizations or communities), there are norms of generalized reciprocity among them
cultivated through the expectation or previous experience of being help. Whether it is
motivated by personal benefits of organizational citizenship, offering help in
community is more related to maintaining the social institution of network as common
resource.
Even if they are motivated by good causes, it may be discouraging for the help
lenders to continue their contributions if there is low level of appreciation or feedback.
For help seekers, it is also unsatisfactory when the helps from strangers are not met to
their needs or expectations. These issues can be solved by achieving “critical mass”
because once a critical mass of contributors is achieved, the legitimacy and value of
contributing can be self-reinforcing (Constant, Sproull, & Kiesler, 1996). Computer
networks make it easy to reach large numbers of people faster and connect them with
weak ties. It is also easier to post helps and respond to them through computer networks.


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