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Title: Hidden footage in online communities: the assimilation processes of newcomers under the fluidity
Authors: Suh, C
Lee, H
Keywords: Online community;Critical realism;Process mining;Sequence analysis
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Online communities (OCs), computer-mediated virtual space, have become one of the crucial parts of our lives. For example, users of visited 1.36 billion times in total in July 2017 that is comparable to Facebook or YouTube. While several studies explain the underlying mechanisms of members’ participation and revisit behaviours, we still do not understand the evolutionary processes of members who progress from newcomers to core members. The gap mainly stems from the dominance of variance studies that deal with covariance between variables that capture different aspects of a given phenomenon in OC literature. This study takes process-oriented approach and aims to reveal evolutionary socialisation process of OC members by applying a novel inter-disciplinary computational qualitative method based on critical realism. Critical realism is employed for the study to help explaining complex structures of the online community and interactions between its users. Mainly, we analyse whole data from OC databases for two years including exposed as well as hidden events to OC members. The hidden events make us analyse how a newcomer begin to assimilate in the organisation that is not yet studied so far. We find sequences of events to identify demi-regularities through clustering and visualisation. Our results can show how newcomers are assimilated into OCs visually. We discuss theoretical contribution and practical implications in conclusions.
Appears in Collections:Brunel Business School Research Papers

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