ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 978-989.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00978

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Formation mechanism of the doctor contribution behavior in virtual health communities

PENG Jiamin1(), XIE Lishan2, GUAN Xinhua3   

  1. 1School of management, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510520, China
    2School of Business, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    3Geography and Tourism School, Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, Guangzhou 510320, China
  • Received:2020-10-27 Online:2021-06-15 Published:2021-04-25
  • Contact: PENG Jiamin


The key to future theoretical research in service management is to focus on the transformative service that is dedicated to improving human well-being. Integrating into the transformative service with the objective of co-creating value to enhance social well-being has become a hot spot in this field. The service ecosystem stresses that all actors involved in service should invest their own resources, skills, and other available assets in their interactions with the help of systems, technologies, behaviors, and languages, thus making the static resources dynamic to benefit other entities or the entity itself. “Contribution,” in this course of interaction, acts as a vital dimension for measuring the value of co-creation; for it reflects the actors’ faith in achieving the expected results by investing their own resources (including tangible and intangible resources, operational and object resources). Therefore, topics such as paying attention to the contribution of actors in different service contexts and exploring how to improve stakeholders’ well-being via the actors’ contributions stand out as the research areas that need to be further probed in the theoretical research on value co-creation.
Doctor contribution behavior in virtual health communities is critical to improving social well-being. Most academic studies on user participation in virtual health communities focus on patient behavior, while there is a lack of research on medical service providers' behavior patterns and their effects on health and well-being. From the perspective of value co-creation theory, the group engagement model, and positive psychology research, this paper proposes a conceptual framework comprised of the antecedents and consequences of doctors’ contribution behaviors in online service interactions. The paper discusses the concept and dimensions of doctor contribution behavior in virtual health communities from the resource input perspective. It then analyzes the behavior engagement process associated with doctor contribution behavior under the dual motivation of social exchange and social identity as well as the resource supplement factors in the service ecosystem. Finally, the influence of doctor contribution behavior on doctor–patient well-being and the moderating effect of resource matching are discussed.
The paper proposes an innovative conceptual framework, which combines marketing research and organizational behavior research, and takes the resource view in service interaction as the theoretical basis for studying the mechanism by which doctor contribution behavior forms from the perspective of value co-creation. The conceptual framework further takes into account the resources investment and integrated factors of all actors involved in the service ecosystem. The conceptual framework, for the first time, introduces into doctor contribution behavior research important variables, including community fairness, community identity, and resource matching. Moreover, the online characteristics and the interplay of offline social relationship factors are studied comprehensively. According to the conceptual framework, a more systematic and thorough interpretation of the formation of doctor contribution behavior in virtual health communities and its role is expected to be achieved. Thus, the paper has a critical practical significance for guiding virtual health community managers on how to build a good service ecosystem under the service-dominant logic, to realize the co-creation of well-being, and to promote the rapid development of the health service industry.

Key words: value co-creation, virtual health community, doctor contribution behavior, well-being

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