Information Systems Faculty Publications and Presentations

Why Doctors Participate in Teams of Online Health Communities? A Social Identity and Brand Resource Perspective

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Virtual teamwork has emerged as a new mode of healthcare service in online health communities, enabling doctors to collaborate and share knowledge for better patient care. However, the multifaceted impact of teams on their members and how they develop within them have not been effectively validated. To address this gap, we draw insights from social identity theory and brand resources to understand how doctors benefit from online teams using a unique dataset of 2,222 teams with 4,587 doctors from a large Chinese OHC. Our analysis shows that team capital positively affects members’ performance through warmth and ethics images, while team capital is negatively related to warmth image but positively related to ethics image. Additionally, leaders’ ethics images have a positive influence on members’ ethics images, with mediation effects present. This study sheds light on the role of doctor images in improving their performance in OHCs based on social identity theory and provides practical guidance for online medical services.


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Information Systems Frontiers