Modelling online community members' motivation: A computational model based on social exchange theory

Tijs Van Den Broek, Nelly Litvak, Mike Visser, Ariana Need

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic


Recent studies show a significant effect of online communication on campaign donations. Social exchange theory has been used in the literature to explain fundraisers motivatio. A limitation, however, is that motivation and the relation between online and offline actions are often derived from questionnaires that may suffer from selection and self-report biases, are often cross-sectional, do not scale-up and are often too costly to conduct. In an attempt to decrease such limitation, our study models the motivation of participants in an online campaign with social media analysis. We present a preliminary Satiation-Deprivation model, based on social exchange theory, that estimates fundraisers' motivation levels over time based on a Twitter mention network and a donation dataset obtained from the Movember 2014 campaign. Despite our limited sample size, we find that motivation levels may serve as predictors for likelihood of donations and may improve baseline predictors such as co-occurrences of mentions and donations. After further validation, our preliminary model may inform strategic mentioning policies by campaign organizers, in order to maintain high motivation levels in their on-line community. Our findings suggest that a quantitative approach may serve as an accessible and valuable tool for predicting effectiveness of donation campaigns in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Event26th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2018 - Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Jun 201828 Jun 2018


Conference26th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Computational methods
  • Motivation
  • Online communities
  • Prosocial behaviour
  • Social exchange theory
  • Social media


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