Social capital plays a significant role in understanding online community relationships in the marketing field. However, the construct of social capital has not been studied in the context of consumer-initiated online brand communities (COBCs). This paper develops a model of social capital in COBCs as a higher order reflective latent construct having four first-order dimensions. Responses of 353 members from 35 Volkswagen COBCs in China were obtained and analysed using Structural Equation Modelling. The data supports our model of social capital in COBCs, providing a greater understanding of social capital in COBCs that will help Chinese marketers utilise COBCs more effectively.
- social capital
- online brand communities
- consumer-initiated online brand communities
- social media