Abstract

By exploring online helping behavior, this study developed and tested a conceptual framework to understand local residents’ contribution to online travel communities. The conceptual framework was established based on the attribution-empathy theory and the social identity theory. A web-based survey was conducted in the online travel community “CouchSurfing”, and a total of 377 cases were included in the analysis. The findings indicate that the conceptual framework is statistically significant, and variables of social identity of local resident, attachment to the online community, participation in the online community and personal distress are significant predictors of helping behavior. Based on the results, both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Understanding Local Residents’ Contribution to Online Travel Communities

By exploring online helping behavior, this study developed and tested a conceptual framework to understand local residents’ contribution to online travel communities. The conceptual framework was established based on the attribution-empathy theory and the social identity theory. A web-based survey was conducted in the online travel community “CouchSurfing”, and a total of 377 cases were included in the analysis. The findings indicate that the conceptual framework is statistically significant, and variables of social identity of local resident, attachment to the online community, participation in the online community and personal distress are significant predictors of helping behavior. Based on the results, both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.