Frequency of Usage: The Impact of Technology Acceptance Factors Versus Social Factors

Frequency of Usage: The Impact of Technology Acceptance Factors Versus Social Factors

Brandis Phillips (North Carolina A&T State University, USA) and Belinda Shipps (North Carolina A&T State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jvcsn.2012040103


The social networking population continues to expand at a phenomenal pace. Nevertheless, the question of how an organization gets people to spend long periods on a particular social networking website as well as return to the website is becoming increasingly important. Is the technological sophistication of the website or the social aspect most important? This study addresses technological and social factors. The authors examine social network use by employing a survey instrument to gather data about technological factors based on the technology acceptance model and social factors collecting data on constructs representing social involvement and the sheer enjoyment of using the social networking website. Results of the study suggest that users of social networks are more apt to frequently use a site based upon social/enjoyment factors as opposed to technology-related factors.
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Literature Review

Behavior and intent to engage in a social relationship online are different from traditional face-to-face networking. Online behavior involves a more integrated approach focused on interactions with information, people, and technology. Interaction takes place among a community of online users who develop relationships based on common interests and/or goals in which the users exchange information and knowledge. Many factors may lead to an individual visiting a social networking website. We suggest that an individual’s behavior or intent to use a social networking site that he or she feels is useful and usable may be related to perceptions associated with technological and social factors. The following literature review provides support for our model by giving an overview of previous literature relating to the theory of reasoned action (TRA), the technology acceptance model, social capital, and sociotechnical theory. Previous research supports the argument that the usability of technology can affect an individual’s attitude, behavioral intentions, and use of technology.

Theory of Reasoned Action

The TRA provides support in explaining the social-psychological factors that may influence perceived interactivity and the use of a social networking website in terms of actual behavior and behavioral intentions. The TRA is based on research and principles inherent in social psychology (Fishbein, 1975) that help make sense of and predict individual behavior in social settings. Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) state that individual beliefs affect actual behavior or behavioral perceptions (Fishbein, 1975). Furthermore, the TRA suggests that actual behavior relates to an individual’s behavioral intentions (BIs). Behavioral intentions are influenced by the following: (a) individual attitude regarding the behavior, and (b) social norms, which are defined as individual perceptions of social demands or pressures. The TRA has been used to help understand shopping behavior (Yu, 2007), consumer complaints and purchasing behavior (Oliver, 1985; Sheppard, 1988), and information systems (Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1989; Hansen, 2004; Venkatesh & Davis, 1996; Venkatesh, Speier, & Morris, 2002; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000).

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