Virtual medical tourism communities (V-MTCs) have emerged as important information sources and social platforms for medical tourists. Drawing on value co-creation literature and complexity theory, this study examines the effects of users’ online interaction characteristics and social support on their well-being from a configurational perspective, aiming to identify different well-being trigger patterns among users of V-MTCs in China. A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) was conducted, incorporating seven interactional configurations involving communication style (task and relationship orientation), social support (emotional, informational, and network support), and citizenship behavior. The findings indicate three categories of configurations that lead to a high sense of well-being, dominated by social support, task orientation, and citizenship behavior. The article discusses the theoretical logic of each configuration and enriches the value co-creation literature and technology-enabled transformative service research by providing new insights into the causal patterns of well-being in V-MTCs. The findings also have practical implications for V-MTC management.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71972054 ; 71772186 ; 72072187 ); the Natural Science Foundation of the Guangdong Province of China (No. 2019A1515011494 ; 2020A1515011439 ); and the Guangdong Planning Project of Philosophy and Social Science (No. GD17YGL05 ). The authors thank Juan Li for helping them in data collection.
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- Communication style
- Social support
- Citizenship behavior
- Virtual medical tourism communities