AIS Transactions on Replication Research


This study methodologically replicates Fan and Lederman’s (2018) work on trust formation mechanisms in online health communities (OHCs). Social capital theory sets the framework for the research. Contextualized in online health communities (OHCs), it is the content contributors’ task to demonstrate trustworthiness by showing the credibility of the posted content in their previous postings. In contrast, the recipients, rather than the contributors, have to initially perceive trustworthiness in the sense of traditional social capital theory. We adopted the model, hypotheses, measurement, and statistical methods from the original study conducted by Fan and Lederman in 2018. Three out of nine hypotheses in our replication are not consistent with the original study results. The inconsistencies primarily lie in the antecedents of two types of trust. We discuss possible explanations for these discrepancies and suggest additional data and statistical tests to validate our replication results.