Virtual communities and society: Toward an integrative three phase model

Celia Romm, Nava Pliskin, Rodney Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Virtual communities are groups of people who communicate with each other via electronic media and are a relatively new phenomenon. Despite the short time that virtual communities have been in existence, they have been attracting much attention by researchers. The purpose of this paper is to review the theoretical and empirical work that has been conducted in relation to virtual communities in society, using it as a basis for an integrative three phase Virtual Communities in Society model. Following a short introduction which deals with some issues of categorization and definition, the paper proceeds to discuss the three building blocks of the proposed model, including: (1) variables that affect individuals' decision to join virtual communities; (2) variables that explain how members of virtual communities affect their immediate environment; and (3) variables that describe how virtual communities are transforming society. The paper is concluded with suggestions for possible future extensions and empirical testing of the model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Marketing
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Artificial Intelligence


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