Purpose– The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between users' role and users' perception of requirements in a web‐based community of practice.
Design/methodology/approach– Online survey and social network analysis were adopted in this study.
Findings– The study classified user roles as advisors and two types of regular users (both aware of advisors and not); each type of user demonstrated different sets of requirement perceptions. The findings showed that user roles and the level of user involvement did have a significant effect on users' perceptions of requirements. Advisors paid less attention to the interface, communication and recommendation links than the regular users.
Practical implications– It implies that high involvers (core members) are more appropriate for requirement elicitation, even though high involvers might not be the only candidates for requirements elicitation.
Originality/value– Few articles discuss the relationship between user roles and requirements; therefore, the originality of this study is high.