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An Invisible Leverage in the Adoption of Online Social Support Community
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community 11 various innovation fields from farming to interactive media. The main reason is the lack of longitudinal designs in diffusion studies. Even though the diffusion theory features the sequential flow of an innovation as it spreads through a social system, this dependence on cross- sectional and retrospective data hinders researchers from examining the other two alternative behaviors of potential adopters. Potential adopters made final adoption decisions after trying out the new idea on a partial basis. They go through trial periods in order to determine the usefulness or effectiveness of innovations in their own situation. Therefore, trialability is an important innovation attribute to speed up the adoption rate. The diffusion theory involves a sequence of behaviors of potential adopters. Compared to a preponderant volume of research on adoption, more research on rejection, discontinuance, or trial is called upon. The present study defines OSSC adoption as a matter of degree rather than a whether-or-not, dichotomous decision to embrace all these adoption behavior options. Lurking or one-time-posting is considered as trial. To be considered as adopters, participants need to have posted more than one messages on more than one day. The degree of adoption is measured by frequency of posting and duration of online presence (See Figure 1). Study Model and Hypotheses The conceptual model in Figure 1 includes various aspects of OSSC adoption which requires multiple levels of analysis with quantitative and qualitative methods. For example, the model requires cross-OSSCs comparisons with quantitative methods in order to prove the effect of OSSC network size on adoption. The model also necessitates qualitative methods in order to examine such network variables as density, clustering, blockmodeling, tie strength, multiplexity and reciprocity in depth and to incorporate time dimension. The current study focuses only on the quantitative phase, and proposed a study model derived from the conceptual model (Figure 2). Illness type refers to whether the illness is characterized as a physical or mental disorder. Illnesses that show physical signs and symptoms are considered as physical illness type even though they accompany some mental manifestations. For example, Menopause is considered as physical, not as mental. Network size is defined in three ways: (1) Total number of registered members; (2) Total number of posters; and (3) Total number of adopters in each OSSC. Posters are those who have

Authors: Yun, Haejin., Park, Songyi. and Kim, Hee-Jung.
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Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community
11
various innovation fields from farming to interactive media. The main reason is the lack of
longitudinal designs in diffusion studies. Even though the diffusion theory features the
sequential flow of an innovation as it spreads through a social system, this dependence on cross-
sectional and retrospective data hinders researchers from examining the other two alternative
behaviors of potential adopters.
Potential adopters made final adoption decisions after trying out the new idea on a partial
basis. They go through trial periods in order to determine the usefulness or effectiveness of
innovations in their own situation. Therefore, trialability is an important innovation attribute to
speed up the adoption rate.
The diffusion theory involves a sequence of behaviors of potential adopters. Compared
to a preponderant volume of research on adoption, more research on rejection, discontinuance, or
trial is called upon. The present study defines OSSC adoption as a matter of degree rather than a
whether-or-not, dichotomous decision to embrace all these adoption behavior options. Lurking
or one-time-posting is considered as trial. To be considered as adopters, participants need to
have posted more than one messages on more than one day. The degree of adoption is measured
by frequency of posting and duration of online presence (See Figure 1).
Study Model and Hypotheses
The conceptual model in Figure 1 includes various aspects of OSSC adoption which
requires multiple levels of analysis with quantitative and qualitative methods. For example, the
model requires cross-OSSCs comparisons with quantitative methods in order to prove the effect
of OSSC network size on adoption. The model also necessitates qualitative methods in order to
examine such network variables as density, clustering, blockmodeling, tie strength, multiplexity
and reciprocity in depth and to incorporate time dimension. The current study focuses only on
the quantitative phase, and proposed a study model derived from the conceptual model (Figure 2).
Illness type refers to whether the illness is characterized as a physical or mental disorder.
Illnesses that show physical signs and symptoms are considered as physical illness type even
though they accompany some mental manifestations. For example, Menopause is considered as
physical, not as mental.
Network size is defined in three ways: (1) Total number of registered members; (2) Total
number of posters; and (3) Total number of adopters in each OSSC. Posters are those who have


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