Online communities have gained multidisciplinary attention in both the academic and practi-tioner literature. Some of this literature has taken a focus on online communities in the healthcare context (aka online health communities), with recent studies highlighting their poten-tial to contribute to social value creation, for example by reducing the divide between regional and other health disparities. In this research-in-progress paper, we present a case study we conducted with MedicineAfrica; an online health community with the aim of improving healthcare education in countries with fragile healthcare systems. Based on interviews, online observations, and documentary analysis, our study explores: (a) the factors that enhance volun-teer-members’ commitment to the online community, resulting in them staying longer than they initially expected; and (b) the impact of members’ commitment on the roles they undertake on the online platform. It is found that, with increased commitment, members of online health com-munities tend to undertake not just more roles but roles with leading responsibilities as well as take on initiatives for new online activities. We discuss our preliminary analysis so far, which is followed by the study’s implications and further research.
Chamakiotis, Petros and Panteli, Niki, "MEMBERS’ COMMITMENT IN ONLINE HEALTH COM-MUNITIES: THE CASE OF MEDICINEAFRICA" (2018). Research-in-Progress Papers. 49.