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Title: An exploration of user intention and behaviour in the context of the economic development of technology-supported online social networks
Author: Collins-Hughes, E. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 2594
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2015
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Technology-supported online social networks have grown dramatically in recent years. Limited success has been achieved in economically developing them so that users make purchases through them. However these are largely ineffective as they are based on ‘targeting’ users with advertising in an attempt to stimulate them towards purchasing. The aim of the research was to explore how these networks could be economically developed in ways which users would welcome. The existing literature had gaps on how the intentions and behaviours of online social network users could be better understood in this context. Using a qualitative methodology semi-structured interviews were carried out with online social networks users. The research draws on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991-2006). It also explores how some aspects of the Social Network Theory (SNT) model developed by the researcher in Document 2, as well as some key constructs of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis et al., 1991; Venkatesh and Davis, 1994), may impact on TPB in this context. The findings arising from thematic analysis of the interviews led to proposing contextualised factors which could affect the key constructs in the TPB. Factors affecting network user attitudinal beliefs and evaluations in this context included Ease of Use, Utility and belief in the network’s capacity to deliver benefits. Factors affecting normative beliefs and motivation to comply included information-sharing, resistance to ‘assumed profiles’, self-setting of norms, and attitudes to personal data. Factors affecting control beliefs and facilitation included ‘Ultimate Control’, ‘Program Control’, 2-way information/control exchange dynamics, emotional bonding and user self-modification of behaviour. These led to a conceptual framework modifying TPB in the context of purchasing by network users. As well as contributing to theory there are some contributions to professional practice, including insight to providing more opportunities for enhancing user engagement and perception of control, ‘one-click’ access to ‘in-network’ vendors, An exploration of user intention and behaviour in the context of the economic development of technology-supported online social networks and facilities for users to express their interests in information on the goods and services which they would welcome. A number of proposals are also presented for extending the research in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available