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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 24 even for network size because it is hard to partial out network characteristics out of all situational factors. The study population list of the present study provided an ideal situation for quantitative analysis of cross-OSSC comparisons along with statistical tests. The major finding of the present study – curvilinear relationship between network size and adoption – confirmed curvilinear relationships found in previous qualitatively-oriented studies of traditional off-line social support networks. The fourth contribution of the present study is the role of the major contributor. Its role in OSSC adoption was found to be curvilinear rather than linear. That is, even though the major contributor’s active participation is crucial for an OSSC to take off, he or she had better not dominate the OSSC. Once the OSSC starts to operate itself, the major contributor’s role decreases. This is an important practical implication for those who organize and manage OSSCs. Limitation A primary limitation of this study deals with the directionality of causation in its study model because with cross-sectional data, direction of causality remains empirically unanswered. Secondly, multicollinearity might have caused inflation of R-square in curvilinear regression. The study centered all three predictors before actual data analysis to prevent this multicollinearity problem. The tolerance levels in three network measures and two major contributor’s participation measures were found reasonable in ruling out this possibility (See Tables 1 to 5). Based on the tolerance level, the researchers concluded that cubic relationships that were found significant were inappropriate. The third limitation lies in the study population. As mentioned, the study population was Yahoo’s public illness communities. Given that privacy invasion, especially related to personal health information, is one of the major concerns, and that about three-fourths of all illness communities at Yahoo are member-only, the study population comprised of public communities only may have biased some aspects of relationships. Finally, the study depended on Yahoo for sampling OSSCs. Even though Yahoo is the most accessible site for average Internet users who are looking for online social support groups, there are many other resources such as not-for-profit or commercial health organizations that also provide public forums using bulletin board system. Usenet is another conduit especially for those who are familiar with computer-mediated communication and the Internet. Starting in

Authors: Yun, Haejin., Park, Songyi. and Kim, Hee-Jung.
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Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community
24
even for network size because it is hard to partial out network characteristics out of all situational
factors. The study population list of the present study provided an ideal situation for quantitative
analysis of cross-OSSC comparisons along with statistical tests. The major finding of the
present study – curvilinear relationship between network size and adoption – confirmed
curvilinear relationships found in previous qualitatively-oriented studies of traditional off-line
social support networks.
The fourth contribution of the present study is the role of the major contributor. Its role
in OSSC adoption was found to be curvilinear rather than linear. That is, even though the major
contributor’s active participation is crucial for an OSSC to take off, he or she had better not
dominate the OSSC. Once the OSSC starts to operate itself, the major contributor’s role
decreases. This is an important practical implication for those who organize and manage OSSCs.
Limitation
A primary limitation of this study deals with the directionality of causation in its study
model because with cross-sectional data, direction of causality remains empirically unanswered.
Secondly, multicollinearity might have caused inflation of R-square in curvilinear
regression. The study centered all three predictors before actual data analysis to prevent this
multicollinearity problem. The tolerance levels in three network measures and two major
contributor’s participation measures were found reasonable in ruling out this possibility (See
Tables 1 to 5). Based on the tolerance level, the researchers concluded that cubic relationships
that were found significant were inappropriate.
The third limitation lies in the study population. As mentioned, the study population was
Yahoo’s public illness communities. Given that privacy invasion, especially related to personal
health information, is one of the major concerns, and that about three-fourths of all illness
communities at Yahoo are member-only, the study population comprised of public communities
only may have biased some aspects of relationships.
Finally, the study depended on Yahoo for sampling OSSCs. Even though Yahoo is the
most accessible site for average Internet users who are looking for online social support groups,
there are many other resources such as not-for-profit or commercial health organizations that
also provide public forums using bulletin board system. Usenet is another conduit especially for
those who are familiar with computer-mediated communication and the Internet. Starting in


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