A petition is a formal written request, usually cosigned by a group of supporters, appealing to an authority concerning a particular cause. With the development of information technologies, online petitions have been a popular and powerful means for the public to influence societal changes. An online petition (or e-petition) is a form of a petition that is signed online, generally through a form on a website (e.g., Change.org, ipetitions.com). Because of the importance and popularity of online petitions, much research has examined the determinants and impacts of online petitions. Despite much prior findings, it remains unclear how vocal supporters influence the success of online petitions. This study defines a vocal supporter as a person who signs a petition and provides the reasons for signing. Based on the goal theory (Locke and Latham, 2002) and prior research on the online petition (Chen et al., 2019), this study examines the direct and moderating effect of vocal supporters on online petition success. In particular, this study investigates the impacts of the number of reasons for signing, the amount of texts in reasons for signing, and linguistic factors (e.g., cognitive, emotional, and moral) of reasons for signing. We collected 629,401 petitions from Change.org, the most popular online petition website in the United States. Our findings will contribute to existing online petition literature by providing what aspects of vocal supporters lead to online petition success.
KIM, DONGYEON; Wu, Jiao; Kwak, Dong-Heon; and Deng, Shuyuan, "Role of Vocal Supporters in Online Petition Success" (2022). PACIS 2022 Proceedings. 298.
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