A multidimensional scale for measuring online brand community social capital (OBCSC)
School of Business and Law
Online brand communities (OBCs) provide businesses with a mechanism to generate unparalleled consumer engagement, loyal customer relationships, and reliable marketing intelligence. Pertinent to the effectiveness of OBCs is the development of social capital that has the propensity to enhance the quality of interactive relationships within the community, thereby influencing factors critical to the ongoing success of the OBC. This paper considers existing conceptualisations of social capital in the on and offline environments to develop and test an empirical social capital scale specific to OBCs. Results indicate that social capital in an OBC environment is a multidimensional construct determined by the level of shared language, shared vision, social trust and reciprocity that exists within the structure of the community. The resultant online brand community social capital (OBCSC) scale exhibits sound psychometric properties demonstrating a reliable and valid measure.