Developing social capital through professionally oriented social network sites Thesis uri icon

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abstract

  • Previous research has mainly focused on the social capital formation process on Facebook. In general, professionally-oriented social network sites (P-SNSs), such as LinkedIn, are under-researched in the Information Systems discipline. In addition, current studies do not include the effects of important elements of social network sites (SNS) such as one’s profile on social capital formation. As such, the main objective of this research is to propose and validate a model that explains the process by which individuals develop and accrue social capital through using P-SNSs. The theoretical framework of the proposed research draws upon Social Network Analysis, Social Media Analysis, and Social Capital Theory. Using an online survey of 377 LinkedIn users, this study finds that: (1) P-SNS users’ actions (perceived profile disclosure, active participation, and passive consumption) have significant positive effects on perceived social connectedness; (2) perceived social connectedness on P-SNSs has a significant positive effect on perceived networking value on these sites; (3) perceived profile disclosure and passive consumption have significant positive effects on network size; (4) active participation does not have any effect on network size; and (5) network size does not have a significant effect on perceived networking value. Overall, this investigation advances our understanding of how social capital is formed in P-SNSs. Additionally, by including the profile disclosure construct in the research model, this is the first study in the P-SNS context that investigates the role of the user profile in the social capital formation process, along with user actions such as active participation and passive consumption. From a practical perspective, this study has implications for different audiences such as job seekers, policy-makers, and P-SNS providers, assisting them in playing a more effective role in the social capital formation process on P-SNSs.

publication date

  • September 2022