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Title: Blended social network to promote citizen preparedness and engagement in sustainability
Author: Alsuliman, Abdulrahman
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 8982
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2015
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The overall aim of this research is to devise a climate change engagement modelling with an associated platform that would contribute to successfully engage the public and prompt them to move away from anti-environmental behaviour and closer to a sustainable lifestyle. The research model relies on the creation of new types of online social networks (‘Blended Social Network (BSN)), which comprises the new type of online social network with featured ICT techniques, including: context-aware user profiling, individual social marketing, social learning, location-based services and the ‘attraction modules’. The new model are able to support a bottom-up approach through adopting persuasive techniques that will likely lead to an enhanced public acceptance of environmental sustainability. The methodology design has four main phases, which are the literature review and conceptual model development, followed by three empirical stages: the empirical field study of public perceptions survey, development of prototype platform and the testing and validation of the conceptual model of the study. The first phase undertaken: (i) to identify a gap in the research, conceptualise a research engagement model, identify the key perception constructs that are used in phase two of this research, formulate the comprehensive theoretical validation framework to check the validity of the conceptual model, and measure the influence of the model on people’s intentions to change negative behaviour to be compatible with a sustainable lifestyle. In the second phase, the large survey (n=1173), was conducted to investigate public perception to provide information about public understanding towards sustainability issues and their perceptions related to components of the conceptual model in general. The outcomes were employed to underpin the model with necessary aspects of engagement in local context and revised it to reflect the real situation. In the phase three, a new prototype ‘Blended Social Network’ (BSN) platform was developed to assist and enable the researcher to explain and validate all of the concepts involved in the conceptual model. The prototype platform was used to assess the capability of the BSN platform to engage people to adopt a new and sustainable lifestyle. The research hypotheses, thesis conceptual model, and its components were assessed and validated using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The findings of the empirical study reveal that the conceptual model, is preliminarily accepted by the respondents and has potential positive effects to bridge most of the apparent barriers. For instance, the Blended Social Networks and the ICT modules proposed in this research model may assist people in overcoming most of the obstacles regarding cognition, affective and intention to change behaviour attributes including facilitating conditions and perceived behaviour control. This provides evidence of the significant role of the proposed the BSN platform and the ICT techniques in engaging people toward sustainability. The detailed validation results of this study show that the three engagement constructs considered in the model account for 71% of the dependent variable of users’ preparedness to engage, relying on the use of the BSN itself, 69% for the dependent variable of users’ preparedness to engage relying on Context-aware technique, 72.8% rely on Place-based technique, 51.3% rely on Social learning technique,73.2% rely on Individual social marketing technique, 34.5% rely on Profile-sustainable-labelling technique, 69.2% rely on Participate-current-trends technique and 76.2% rely on the Permanent-incentive technique within the integrated BSN. Variance in a person’s perceptions towards the overall effect of innovation on preparedness to engage was entirely explained by cognitive (ranging between 39.2% and 69.1%), affective factors (ranging between 37.9% and 72.0%) and the intention to change behaviour (ranging between 37.6% and 73.9%).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)