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“I Am Your Fan; Bookmarked!” Members’ Identification Development in Founder-Led Online Communities

In this study, we present the findings from an inductive and interpretive case study of a founder-led online community (OC), exploring how members’ identification develops within the community over time. Using a longitudinal study of an OC that was founded by a reputable individual, it is shown that members were first attracted to the OC through their affective and cognitive identification with the founder; however, over time, they developed identification through social interaction with other members. The findings show that this transformation was enabled by the founder’s communication behavior, which not only led to inspired and engaged members but also to the emergence of new leaders who supported the identification process. The study contributes to the fields of founder-led OCs, identification and emergent leadership in the OC context....

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Published By: Journal of AIS - Sunday, 30 June