Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Business Administration

First Advisor

Anthony Ammeter

Second Advisor

Brian Reithel

Third Advisor

Sumali Conlon

Relational Format



The purpose of this Dissertation is to provide a detailed rationale for the way in which I address the following research questions in my dissertation: “What characteristics of user discourse lead to the emergence of leadership in online communities?” To this end, I provide a literature review of studies on online communities, examine past definitions, and propose an integrated definition of online communities. Focusing on the specific domain of leadership in online communities, I conduct a literature review of early and seminal articles published in this domain with the objective of identifying the foundational theoretical frameworks and the factors that past research studies found as significant for the emergence of leadership in online communities. Further, I identify the gap in knowledge and operationalization of these factors and propose the theory-based model that addresses this gap that I will test empirically in my dissertation. In conclusion, I describe the methodology for testing my proposed model and provide my results.



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