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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 14 As predicted in H2, there exists a curvilinear relationship between network size and adoption in both illness types. Due to the expected difference in network size between the two illness types as in H1, however, the network threshold will also differ according to illness type. H3: The network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be larger than that of mental illness OSSCs. H3-1: The registered member network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be larger than that of mental illness OSSCs. H3-2: The poster network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be larger than that of mental illness OSSCs. H3-3: The adopter network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be larger than that of mental illness OSSCs. The present study also examines the role of the major contributor in OSSC adoption even though it is not specified in its study model. According to the diffusion theory, the role of opinion leaders is very important in the adoption of an innovation in a social system. Innovations are often introduced to a social system by opinion leaders, who are perceived as innovators. They are copied by other members in a social system in term of whether or not to adopt an innovation. Another aspect of opinion leaders is that they actually encourage others to adopt an innovation through their behavior. Therefore, change agents are advised to correctly locate opinion leaders and spread their innovations through opinion leaders. The present study also acknowledges the importance of opinion leaders (Rogers, 1995), who are defined as the major contributors here. Therefore, the participation of the major contributor affects the adoption of OSSCs. The present study does not identify the major contributor as a formal or informal leader. The major contributor can be a founder of the OSSC and continues to make efforts to take care of it by regularly posting messages or responding to messages posted by others. Otherwise, the major contributor can also naturally emerge even though he or she is not a founder. The more efforts the major contributor makes in promoting his or her OSSC, the more likely posters are to perceive the OSSC active and responsive. Therefore, the degree of adoption will increase. The participation of the major contributor is defined in two ways, frequency activity and duration activity. Frequency activity refers to how often the major contributor has posted messages. It is measured by dividing the number of the major contributor’s postings by the frequency of postings per adopter excluding the major contributor. Duration activity refers to

Authors: Yun, Haejin., Park, Songyi. and Kim, Hee-Jung.
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Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community
14
As predicted in H2, there exists a curvilinear relationship between network size and
adoption in both illness types. Due to the expected difference in network size between the two
illness types as in H1, however, the network threshold will also differ according to illness type.
H3: The network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be larger than that of
mental illness OSSCs.
H3-1: The registered member network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be
larger than that of mental illness OSSCs.
H3-2: The poster network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be larger than that
of mental illness OSSCs.
H3-3: The adopter network threshold of physical illness OSSCs tends to be larger than
that of mental illness OSSCs.
The present study also examines the role of the major contributor in OSSC adoption even
though it is not specified in its study model. According to the diffusion theory, the role of
opinion leaders is very important in the adoption of an innovation in a social system.
Innovations are often introduced to a social system by opinion leaders, who are perceived as
innovators. They are copied by other members in a social system in term of whether or not to
adopt an innovation. Another aspect of opinion leaders is that they actually encourage others to
adopt an innovation through their behavior. Therefore, change agents are advised to correctly
locate opinion leaders and spread their innovations through opinion leaders. The present study
also acknowledges the importance of opinion leaders (Rogers, 1995), who are defined as the
major contributors here. Therefore, the participation of the major contributor affects the
adoption of OSSCs. The present study does not identify the major contributor as a formal or
informal leader. The major contributor can be a founder of the OSSC and continues to make
efforts to take care of it by regularly posting messages or responding to messages posted by
others. Otherwise, the major contributor can also naturally emerge even though he or she is not
a founder. The more efforts the major contributor makes in promoting his or her OSSC, the
more likely posters are to perceive the OSSC active and responsive. Therefore, the degree of
adoption will increase.
The participation of the major contributor is defined in two ways, frequency activity and
duration activity. Frequency activity refers to how often the major contributor has posted
messages. It is measured by dividing the number of the major contributor’s postings by the
frequency of postings per adopter excluding the major contributor. Duration activity refers to


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