Peer-to-Peer Value Through Social Capital in an Online Motor Neuron Disease Community

Susan Stewart Loane, Steven D'Alessandro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Millions of people affected by disability or chronic disease access social support and information through online health communities. These communities of common interest flourish on the Internet, with participants creating peer-to-peer value through social support and information exchange. This study observes a community of people affected by motor neuron disease creating value for themselves and each other within an online health community. The community is studied through the lens of social capital theory, a construct borrowed from the field of sociology that contributes to our understanding of why people gravitate towards these online communities for support and information. The results contribute increased awareness of how peer-to-peer value is created within online health communities and highlight the need for marketers to understand the implications of such communities on consumer behavior as it relates to health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-185
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • motor neuron disease
  • online community
  • peer-to-peer value
  • social capital


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