How do Virtual Badges Incentivize Voluntary Contributions to Online Communities?

Huseyin Cavusoglu, Zhuolun Li, Seung Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Online communities rely heavily on badges to incentivize users to participate in voluntary activities. We examine the relationship between earned badges/pursued badges and contributions in the Stack Overflow question and answer community. Our main results reveal that different levels of earned and pursued badges increase the amount of subsequent answering activity. In addition, earned gold badges are the most influential in the motivation of users while earned bronze badges are the least impactful. Furthermore, the effect of badges involves positive spillovers from higher levels of earned badges to lower ones. Our findings offer important theoretical and managerial implications for online communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103483
JournalInformation and Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Yonsei University Research Grant of 2020

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


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