Individual Level Cultural Dimensions in the Continuous Use of Social Network Sites: Gender as a Moderator
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
Related Research Unit(s)
The study undertaken here revolves mainly around the behavioral issues related to Social network usage. The study area of this topic mostly belongs to the Information systems behavioral research stream but also very much related to Consumer Psychology. As information technology is going forward, social network sites (SNSs) have surely become the revolutionary way for communication among mass people. Social networks are bringing about a big change in the way of communication, collaboration, consumption, and creation of content online by users. Although the initial acceptance of IS is undoubtedly an inevitable step for the implementation of any information system, it is the continuous use that decides the long-term viability of an Information system and its emphatic success (Bhattacherjee, 2001). This study attempts to have a deep insight into the role of the users’ perception of benefit related to social networks as the chief driving force that lead to enhanced continuance behavior. At the same time, the study also includes the influence of individual level cultural dimensions on the two types of perceived benefit proposed here as the motivators of SNS continuance. One of the chosen cultural dimensions, namely Indulgence–restraint and its impact on of social network continuous use has been rarely explored. And it is expected that this research gap will be substantially addressed in this research. The study undertaken also attempts a thorough investigation of the moderating effect of gender in terms of continuous use of social network sites. The Theoretical background of the study builds on the well-established Expectation-Confirmation Model of IS Continuance: ECM (Bhattacherjee, 2001). The data analyses are performed using the partial least square (PLS) method, a second-generation causal modeling technique, for the assessment of both the measurement model and the structural model. The findings re-establish the well-supported relationships among continuance, satisfaction and disconfirmation in case of social network sites. The driving forces, Perceived utilitarian benefit and Perceived hedonic benefit also prove to be significantly influencing the positive disconfirmation of the SNS users. The individually measured cultural dimensions, Individualism and Indulgence are introduced in SNS research by this study. Their effect on the perceived benefits that drive users to continuously use SNS is found to be potentially significant here. Interestingly, moderating gender effect on the relationships between the driving forces and disconfirmation of the user expectation with SNS shows a mixed result. This finding throws some questions to the obviously expected clear gender difference in continuance behavior of SNS users as demonstrated by prior research works. Therefore, the study undertaken here is expected to go a long way to shed light on different unexplored areas related to continuous use behavior of social network users.