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Exploring Sense of Community within an Online Healthcare Context

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Governance, Leadership and Responsibility book series (PSGLR)

Abstract

This paper argues that organisations considering corporate community involvement within online communities need to understanding how the notion of sense of community (SOC) is manifested and experienced in such contexts. The case of an online healthcare community hosted by a charitable institution in the UK is provided to illustrate and support this argument. The SOC construct as originally developed by McMillan and Chavis (1986) was adopted as a conceptual lens to explore experiences of members within an online forum. Data was mined from unstructured in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with eight participants who considered themselves as active members of this community. A thematic analysis generated three main themes which illustrated the four dimensions of COS as conceptualised by McMillan and Chavis (1986). Managerial implications for both community managers and CSR managers are discussed in light of these findings.

Keywords

  • Sense of community
  • Online community involvement
  • Healthcare community

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Ramjaun, T. (2018). Exploring Sense of Community within an Online Healthcare Context. In: Grigore, G., Stancu, A., McQueen, D. (eds) Corporate Responsibility and Digital Communities. Palgrave Studies in Governance, Leadership and Responsibility. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63480-7_5

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