Publication Details

Shen, K. 2012, 'Identification vs. self-verification in virtual communities (VC): theoretical gaps and design implications', in P. Maret & C. Morr (eds), Virtual Community Building and the Information Society: Current and Future Directions, IGI Global, USA. pp. 208


Identity-related processes have been identified as important in explaining virtual community (VC) member behavior as well as informing system design of VCs. In particular, the two distinct identity processes of self-verification and identification have been identified and investigated separately, portrayed as two distinctive or contradictory identity processes with different practical implications. This chapter compares and reconciles these two theoretical perspectives in explaining VC participation. Based on a critical and comprehensive review of prior literature, the author identifies three major theoretical gaps that suggest how VC research and management can be advanced through an identity perspective. Finally, the chapter is concluded by discussing key implications of applying identity perspectives in VC research and future research agenda.



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