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International Journal of Market Research Vol. 58 Issue 2 Cultural influence on the adoption of social networking sites Mana-del-Carmen Alarcon-del-Amo Universitat Autdnoma de Barcelona Carlota Lorenzo-Romero University of Castilla-La Mancha Miguel-Angel Gomez-Borja University of Castilla-La Mancha The main objective of this paper is to understand user interaction behaviour on social networking sites (SNS), and to investigate cultural influence on acceptance and use behaviour. SNS are growing in importance, and the many advantages they offer to companies are on the increase. The model described in this paper has been defined on the basis of a technology acceptance model (TAM) to examine the adoption and use of SNS, by adding trust and perceived risk constructs. To analyse the culture as a moderating effect of the causal relationships proposed, we focus on two European countries, using a multi-group structural equation model (SEM). This study shows that extended TAM (ETAM) is appropriate for use in predicting the acceptance of voluntary-use technologies, and it focuses on social relationships. The cultural effects may moderate some theoretical relationships in the adoption process. Introduction Social networking sites (SNS), such as the well-known Facebook, are a relatively recent internet phenomenon; nevertheless they are used by billions of people worldwide that have integrated SNS into their everyday life (Boyd & Ellison 2008). Many SNS aim at the general population, while some may cater to a specific audience or purpose. For example, Linkedln is the world’s largest professional network, Facebook is the world’s largest leisure network, while Last.fm focuses on music. In our study we will focus on general SNS - that is, on leisure SNS, which are those that have higher numbers of users. Received (in revised form): 16 May 2014 © 2016 The M arket Research Society DOI: 10.2501/IJMR-2016-015 277
Cultural influence on the adoption of social networking sites Boyd and Ellison (2008) define SNS as ‘services based on internet that allow individuals to build a public or semi-public profile within a system, create a list of other users that share a connection, and see and navigate through their list of connections and of those created by others within the system’ (p. 2). A more recent definition is that proposed by Jackson and Wang (2013), that SNS: consists of a representation of each user (often called a profile), their social links, and a variety of additional series. Most SNS are web-based and provide a means for users to interact over the internet, such as postings, e-mail and instant messaging. SNS may contain category places (such as school year), a means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust, (p. 911) It is worth noting that, while the use of SNS has affected individuals’ daily lives, they have also captured the attention of organisations because they create business opportunities for both e-businesses and traditional companies (Xu et al. 2012).

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