Relationship among interaction, perceived benefits and citizenship behavior of virtual travel community members: from a value co-creation perspective

XIE Lishan1 ZHAO Qiangsheng2 MA Kang

(1.Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou , China 510275)
(2.School of History-Culture and Tourism, Gannan Normal University, Ganzhou , China 341000)

【Abstract】From the perspective of value co-creation, taking the interaction of virtual travel community members as the starting point, this study discusses the driving factors of virtual travel community members’ citizenship behavior by using social exchange theory, namely, the online and offline interaction of virtual travel community members is the prerequisite of the members’ perceived benefits. As beneficiaries of the perceived benefits, the members will pay the community and other members back through their obligations and responsibilities, thus producing citizenship behavior towards their community and other members. Online structured questionnaires were used for data collection. In this study, the questionnaires were distributed in the Ctrip virtual travel community and 305 valid cases were collected. With a partial least-squares method, the results suggest that most of the theoretical assumptions of this study were validated. Both online and offline interaction influences the learning, social, self-esteem, and hedonic benefits positively; however, while the perceived benefits generally influence citizenship behaviors, differences occur in the effects of different benefits on different citizenship behaviors. This study enriches the research on value co-creation, community interaction, and citizenship behaviors of virtual travel communities, and provides unique research perspectives and research ideas for community citizenship behaviors and virtual travel community research. Most existing research focused on value co-creation between customers and enterprises, customers and employees, and customers and customers in a transaction context. However, there is a clear shortage of research focusing only on value co-creation under non-transactional situations. This study found that positive interaction (both online and offline interaction) of community members promotes the formation of members’ experiential values (like their perceived interests). When members perceive values in community interaction, they regard their responsibility to give back to the community as being obligatory, which then generates value co-creation behaviors (like community member citizenship behavior). Previous research often neglected the important role of offline interaction in community development by only focusing on the organization and management of online interaction. However, the current study suggests that virtual community managers should support and promote both the online and offline interaction of community users in various ways. A platform that encompasses online and offline interaction helps to enhance the members’ value experience in their community. The process of member interaction is not only the process of online information sharing and knowledge exchange but also the process of emotional communication among offline members through their involvement in tourism activities. Community managers should enhance their users’ community experience and perceived interests, which in turn drives the community member citizenship behaviors, increases members’ positive feedback to the community and other members, and promotes community development. The current study uses the social exchange theory to connect three members of the virtual travel community through their community interaction, interest perceptions, and community citizenship behaviors. This study explores the value co-creation of virtual travel communities in theory and provides a reference for guiding the virtual behaviors of community members in virtual travel communities and their effective operation and management.

【Keywords】 virtual travel community; value co-creation; interaction; perceived benefits; community citizenship behavior;

【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (71772186) Youth Foundation Project of Humanities and Social Sciences Research for Universities in Jiangxi Province (JC18220)

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    [1]. (1) The original expression is virtual community as virtual. Virtual is a polysemous word with virtual, substantial and actual meanings. According to the context, this paper considers it suitable to translate the second virtual in the expression into substantial because a virtual community is an almost real community.


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This Article


CN: 11-1120/K

Vol 34, No. 03, Pages 28-40

March 2019


Article Outline


  • Introduction
  • 1 Relevant concepts and literature review
  • 2 Model construction
  • 3 Research method
  • 4 Statistical analysis and results
  • 5 Conclusions and discussions
  • Footnote