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Social media adoption by microbusinesses

The social media implementation process (initiation, adoption, adaptation, acceptance, use and incorporation) is examined in correlation with the five factors (individual, organisational, technological, environmental and performance). Numerous existing theories from the innovation, technology adoption and performance measurement literature are used to derive probable relation between the implementation process and the five factors. Such expansive scope and comprehensive theory development has been articulated but never attempted. To manage the large scope, microbusinesses are selected purposefully due to their limited business processes. The research design reflects the need for relevance by using Lewin’s action research (traditional social change model) as the primary method augmented by participant observation (physical and online). Data collection uses a mix of unstructured, semi-structured and structured interviews assisted by structured observation. Data analysis uses a set of routines, such as tabulation, categorisation, abstraction and verification, involving prediction and testing. The research finds that a collaborative process to address concerns, along with quick start and self-training, helped to adopt social media. Participants needed to focus on concrete experience, work-place learning and personal knowledge for learning to use social media. Usefulness arising from improved communication, fitness and medium richness was the dominant indicator for acceptance and use. Continued use relied on satisfaction and habit of the user. Individual characteristics and personality factors both seemed to be a poor indicator of adoption with weak links towards extroversion. Microbusinesses suffered primarily from context and mental mode related challenges for social media use. Type of business, such as service shops, had a greater probability of success. Social media positively affected relationship marketing in terms of service quality. Business activity associated with specialisation seemed to perform poorly with social media. Finally, performance measurement techniques included finding the capability of social media to meet survival objectives, improve capacity utilisation and business resale value.
Type of thesis
Mandal, D. (2015). Social media adoption by microbusinesses (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9236
University of Waikato
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