Effects of Social Presence and Social Capital on User Loyalty to the Social Networking Website: The Case of Facebook Usage in Taiwan

Effects of Social Presence and Social Capital on User Loyalty to the Social Networking Website: The Case of Facebook Usage in Taiwan

Wen-Jang (Kenny) Jih (Middle Tennessee State University, Computer Information Systems, Murfreesboro, TN, USA) and Su-Fang Lee (Overseas Chinese University, Department of Business Administration, Taichung, Taiwan R.O.C.)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJEBR.2017070102

Abstract

Electronic government initiatives play a central role in opening doors for potential voters to participate in the political process by using electronic voting systems. Electronic voting is attracting more attention by governments around the world, where many countries have exploited e-voting systems as an alternative to traditional voting in their national elections. Citizens differ in their attitude towards using e-voting. This study extended the technology acceptance model to predict the intentions to use e-voting. This paper explored the intentions of citizens to use e-voting systems by conducting an empirical research. To accomplish the main objectives of this paper, 320 surveys were collected from Jordanian citizens. The findings indicate a significant influence of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use and security. Trust failed to predict intentions to use e-voting systems.
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Introduction

The deployment of the Internet is a strategic decision-making issue in virtually all sectors of our society. With the technological functionality continually advancing, the user-engaging interfaces that facilitate aggressive applications of the technology in pursuit of competitive advantage have allowed even novice users to make Internet-enabled services a critical part of their work and life. In fact, in many settings, the way the user interacts with information technology today often takes place without the user even noticing the existence of the technology. The social aspect and the technological aspect of technology utilization are so tightly inter-woven in the usage experience that some researchers have found it appropriate to refer to communication networks as social networks (e.g., Biocca & Harms, 2002; Biocca, et al. 2003). The most noticeable example of this phenomenon is a collection of social networking websites.

Social media emerged as a Web 2.0 technological service facilitating personal social connections running on the Internet. It has rapidly evolved to become a critical communication channel for organizations interacting with customers and other stakeholders (Kane, et al., 2009). These social media services provide a variety of multimedia features that not only are useful but also easy and convenient for non-technical people to use. Virtually all social networking websites adopt a free usage business model in order to grow their user base. As a result, the ubiquity of social media usage has become one of the major forces that make the Internet an important part of everyday life. Currently, there are at least twenty social networking services with 100 million or more users worldwide. Facebook, the leading social networking service provider, has more than 1,550 million global users as of January 2016 (Statista, 2016).

What is the theoretical explanation for the success of these social networking services? It would just be a fad and may quickly fade away if it is not much more than a mere random phenomenon. However, these social networking services will likely continue to influence the physical world even at a deeper level if there are sustainable reasons that systematically justify the user’s behaviors in using social media. Following this line of reasoning, the purpose of this study is to explore the role of social capital in building users’ loyalty to a social networking website. We also look at if the notion of social presence influences users’ perception of social capital in the context of social networking service usage. These three constructs - social presence, social capital, and website loyalty - span across several reference fields. In specific, social presence is a well-researched topic in computer-mediated communication and online education ((Tu, 2001; Tu & McIssac, 2002). Social capital has received much attention in such fields as sociology (Lin, 1999; Ellison, et al., 2007), online learning (Oztok, et al., 2015), organizational knowledge management (Bharati, et al., 2015), and organizational study (Adler & Kwon, 2002; Naphapiet & Ghoshal, 1998). However, both social presence and social capital are relatively new to information systems research (Cyr, et al., 2007; Han, et al., 2015).

In the next section, we first briefly describe the concept of social presence, social capital and website loyalty. We then discuss our research hypotheses and research model employed in this study. A description of our approach for data collection and data analysis follows. We then present the findings and interpretation. The paper ends with suggestions for business practice as well as for academic research.

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