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Social networking from a social capital perspective: a cross-cultural analysis

Anjala S. Krishen (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Mark A.A.M. Leenders (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Siva Muthaly (Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU), Malaysia)
Marta Ziółkowska (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland)
Michael S. LaTour (Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 October 2018

Issue publication date: 19 July 2019




Using social capital theory (SCT), the purpose of this research is to determine the success of social networking in societies that may be lower in social capital, for example in Poland, versus those which are higher in social capital, such as the USA.


This paper uses a partial least squares approach with a cross-cultural sample. The complete sample consists of 556 participants for this study across the USA (n = 258) and Poland (n = 298).


Results indicate that social media success is lower in Poland and that this result is related to lower social networking capital in Polish society. However, the proposed model shows that social media functionality can overcome some of the barriers.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include a very specific set of countries rather than a larger set of countries and sample, survey methodology which could be augmented with a mixed methods approach and convenience sampling which ensured homogeneity and matching.

Practical implications

Based on this research, media designers should attempt to keep information quality high but even more importantly, they should increase interactivity. For Poland in particular, well-designed interactivity can mitigate societal barriers to success of social media, as it can enhance trust in such platforms.

Social implications

Because of Poland’s history of more than 40 years of communism, the newer generations may eventually become more adaptive to social networking tools and such acceptance could lead to greater social capital, which is important for Polish society from a business perspective as well.


The most important contribution of this research is that it theoretically and empirically establishes the importance of SCT in relation to social networking across two different countries.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Harold & Muriel Berkman Charitable Foundation, Inc. and the UNLV Business and International Education Grant for their financial support. The authors also thank the reviewers and editors of this paper for their helpful comments. This paper is in memory of their esteemed co-author and colleague, Michael S. LaTour.


Krishen, A.S., Leenders, M.A.A.M., Muthaly, S., Ziółkowska, M. and LaTour, M.S. (2019), "Social networking from a social capital perspective: a cross-cultural analysis", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 53 No. 6, pp. 1234-1253.



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