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The Secret to Successful User Communities: An Analysis of Computer Associates’ User Groups

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  • Schulz, Celine
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    Abstract

    This paper provides the first large scale study that examines the impact of both individual- and group-specific factors on the benefits users obtain from their user communities. By empirically analysing 924 survey responses from individuals in 161 Computer Associates' user groups, this paper aims to identify the determinants of successful user communities. To measure success, the amount of time individual members save through having access to their user networks is used. As firms can significantly profit from successful user communities, this study proposes four key implications of the empirical results for the management of user communities.

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    File URL: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1257/1/final_060731_newworkingpaperserie.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Munich, Munich School of Management in its series Discussion Papers in Business Administration with number 1257.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:lmu:msmdpa:1257

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    Keywords: Managing User Communities; Collective Action; Information Sharing;

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    1. Robin Cowan & Paul A. David & Dominique Foray, 1999. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Working Papers 99027, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    2. James Tobin, 1956. "Estimation of Relationships for Limited Dependent Variables," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 3R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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    5. Franke, Nikolaus & Shah, Sonali, 2003. "How communities support innovative activities: an exploration of assistance and sharing among end-users," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 157-178, January.
    6. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
    7. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
    8. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
    9. Bitzer, Jurgen & Schrettl, Wolfram & Schroder, Philipp J.H., 2007. "Intrinsic motivation in open source software development," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 160-169, March.
    10. Dougherty, Keith L, 2003. " Public Goods Theory from Eighteenth Century Political Philosophy to Twentieth Century Economics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(3-4), pages 239-53, December.
    11. Dahlander, Linus & Magnusson, Mats G., 2005. "Relationships between open source software companies and communities: Observations from Nordic firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 481-493, May.
    12. Zeitlyn, David, 2003. "Gift economies in the development of open source software: anthropological reflections," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1287-1291, July.
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