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The impact of national culture traits on the usage of web 2.0 technologies

Vincent M. Ribière (The Institute for Knowledge and Innovation (IKI‐SEA), Bangkok University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Maliha Haddad (School of Business, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)
Philippe Vande Wiele (School of Management, New York Institute of Technology, Adilya, Bahrain)


ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 17 August 2010




Web 2.0 technologies are becoming popular and are being used not only for social networking but also to facilitate communication and increase knowledge sharing in the work environment. Extensive research has been conducted in the past to understand the factors affecting the adoption and use of IT systems but few have studied the influence of national culture on such adoption models. When it comes to web 2.0 usage, the literature is only emerging and the role of national culture has not been addressed. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap.


In order to better understand the factors that affect the use of web 2.0 technologies and the influence of national culture on it, data were collected from 376 young adults in the age range of 18‐29 from the USA, Thailand and Bahrain. A model was developed and statistically tested to understand the influence of national culture traits, social grooming aspects, efficiency, online privacy, perceived usefulness, subjective norms and gender.


Based on the type of web 2.0 usage (expressive or instrumental) different variables were demonstrated to be significant predictors. For expressive usage, uncertainty avoidance, maintaining relationships, online privacy and perceived usefulness were significant. For instrumental usage, long‐term orientation and perceived usefulness were significant. A ranking of various types of web 2.0 usage was also created, showing very few differences among countries.

Research limitations/implications

This research is the first step in a series of research activities that should be conducted to better understand the influence of culture in the adoption and usage of web 2.0 technologies. The sample was composed only of “Millennial” generation students and should be extended to other generations and to other countries with markedly different cultural profiles.

Practical implications

The findings of the paper help to better understand the usage of web 2.0 technologies by young adults who are about to enter the labor market and are likely to use Enterprise 2.0 applications in their work environment. Since web 2.0 technologies are centered on the concepts of communication, collaboration and information sharing, they will influence the behavior of future knowledge workers in terms of knowledge sharing. Accordingly, better understanding of web 2.0 use will help to improve the understanding of Enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management tools usage in a global environment.


This paper's original contribution stems from the fact that the influence of national culture on the use of web 2.0 has not yet been addressed in the literature.



Ribière, V.M., Haddad, M. and Vande Wiele, P. (2010), "The impact of national culture traits on the usage of web 2.0 technologies", VINE, Vol. 40 No. 3/4, pp. 334-361.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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