Yuan Zhang

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration


Information Systems and Operations Management

First Advisor

Jie Zhang


How the internet and mobile technologies shape users’ online content generation and how user- generated content on social media and online communities influence their subsequent behaviors are under-researched in the IS field. This dissertation contains three essays that examine three aspects of user-generated content (UGC) and online communities. The first study examines the spillover effects of location-based mobile applications on local businesses’ performance through analyzing the entry and penetration of a location-based augmented reality application under a natural experiment setting. A rich-get-richer effect is identified in that the internalization of the reputation spillover varies with the current reputation of the local businesses and the time frames. The second study investigated how the viewership of user-generated videos on different platforms impact product sales and customer stickiness. A Panel-Vector-Auto- Regression model is used to show that live streaming video platforms can improve both the short-term and long- term product sales and customer stickiness, and pre-recorded video platforms can only enhance long- term product sales and customer stickiness. Additionally, live streaming video platforms have a more significant and stronger predictive relationship than pre-recorded video platforms with the response level and explanatory power of product sales and customer stickiness. The media richness theory and the social presence theory are applied to explain the results. The third study is to examine the impacts of the group-level social comparison on group members’ exercise participation. Our research context is set by a fitness app with the aim of improving users’ exercise and usage participation through the group-level social and gamification function design. The group-level social interaction features are, for example, allowing users to join and exercise with other group members, hold and participate in offline meetup events, and group social activities. A conceptual framework based on the cognitive processes under the social comparison theory is built to explain the effects of the within-group and between-group social comparison on the group members’ exercise participation. We also propose and verify that offline group social activities significantly moderate the main effects.


User-generated content, Online communities


Business | Management Information Systems


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington