To better understand the sustainability of a virtual professional community, the authors develop and test a research model of user intention to recommend the community to others. Specifically, intention to spread positive word of mouth is proposed to be determined by satisfaction, commitment, and group norm, with satisfaction and group norm positively impacting commitment. Using data obtained from users of a virtual professional community (an educational portal), the results supported nearly all hypothesized relationships. Only the relationship between satisfaction and commitment was not found to be significant. The authors conclude with a discussion of the findings and implications for both theory and practice.
Cheung, Christy M.K; Lee, Matthew K.O; and Rabjohn, Neil, "Maintaining a Virtual Professional Community Through Positive Word of Mouth" (2007). PACIS 2007 Proceedings. 39.