The existence and survival of online virtual organizations depends upon the commitment and retention of their members.

I am the Principal Investigator of an NSF VOSS grant on ‘Building Social Attachment in Virtual Groups’ (Award #0943159), with co-PIs Robert Kraut (Carnegie Mellon University) and Tom Postmes (University of Groningen) investigating alternative ways of designing online sites to increase commitment to virtual organizations based on social science theories of attachment. In a series of experiments within different virtual settings we are varying features of the groups that social science theory predicts will promote different forms of attachment and examining their influence on member participation and retention. Our results help inform the design of virtual groups and online communities to foster member commitment.

Check out our project website where you can find more information about the project goals, team, and publications.