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You Scratch Someone’s Back and We’ll Scratch Yours: Collective Reciprocity in Social Q&A Communities

Wu, PF and Korfiatis, N (2013) You Scratch Someone’s Back and We’ll Scratch Yours: Collective Reciprocity in Social Q&A Communities Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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Abstract

Taking a structuration perspective while integrating reciprocity research in economics, this study examines the dynamics of reciprocal interactions in social Q&A communities. We postulate that individual users of social Q&A constantly adjust their kindness into the direction of the observed benefit and effort of others. Collective reciprocity emerges from this pattern of conditional strategy of reciprocation and helps form a structure that guides the very interactions that give birth to the structure. Based on a large sample of data from Yahoo! Answers, our empirical analysis supports the collective reciprocity premise, showing that the more effort (relative to benefit) an asker contributes to the community, the more likely the community will return the favor. On the other hand, the more benefit (relative to effort) the asker takes from the community, the less likely the community will cooperate in terms of providing answers. We conclude that a structuration view of reciprocity sheds light on the duality of social norms in online communities.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Wu, PFUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Korfiatis, NUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 3 July 2013
Identification Number : 10.1002/asi.22913
Additional Information : This is a preprint of an article accepted for publication in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology copyright © 2013 (American Society for Information Science and Technology).
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 19 Feb 2013 10:05
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 20:00
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/754187

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