The emergence of virtual community facilitates people with common interest/practices or shared experiences to communicate openly and broadly over the Internet. However, the problem of member contribution of original information and feedback has often been raised in the research of virtual community. Drawing on the perspective of competitive altruism, we argued that an altruistic individual member’s intention to be a favored member among rivals within the individual’s community prompts the individual to supply more original information and make more meaningful contribution to the community. The results of a survey of 206 members of a virtual community of interest/practice supported our argument and also verified that an individual member’s intention to be a favored member among rivals is positively related to the individual member’s self-perceived relational intimacy with his/her virtual community which, in turn, is related to his/her active contribution to the community. Three important factors, recognition of reputation value, sensitivity to monitored role playing, and preference for similarity positively affect an individual’s favored member intent. The findings draw the attention to the theoretical implications of competitive altruism in the research of virtual community contribution, and provide practical implications to virtual community organizers.
Chang, Michael C. S., "Competitive Altruism and Active Contribution in Virtual Communities" (2013). PACIS 2013 Proceedings. 24.