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“How to use it more?” Self-efficacy and its sources in the use of social media for knowledge sharing

Hussain Alshahrani (Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK) (Shaqra University, Shaqra, Saudi Arabia)
Diane Rasmussen Pennington (Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 28 August 2019

Issue publication date: 7 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate sources of self-efficacy for researchers and the sources’ impact on the researchers’ use of social media for knowledge sharing. It is a continuation of a larger study (Alshahrani and Rasmussen Pennington, 2018).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors distributed an online questionnaire to researchers at the University of Strathclyde (n=144) and analysed the responses using descriptive statistics.

Findings

Participants relied on personal mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and emotional arousal for social media use. These elements of self-efficacy mostly led them to use it effectively, with a few exceptions.

Research limitations/implications

The convenience sample utilised for this study, which included academic staff, researchers and PhD students at one university, is small and may not be entirely representative of the larger population.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the existing literature on social media and knowledge sharing. It can help researchers understand how they can develop their self-efficacy and its sources in order to enhance their online professional presence. Additionally, academic institutions can use these results to inform how they can best encourage and support their researchers in improving their professional social media use.

Originality/value

Researchers do rely on their self-efficacy and its sources to use social media for knowledge sharing. These results can help researchers and their institutions eliminate barriers and improve online engagement with colleagues, students, the public and other relevant research stakeholders.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia. The authors wish to thank the participants who participated in the study. In addition, the authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their beneficial and constructive comments.

Citation

Alshahrani, H. and Rasmussen Pennington, D. (2020), "“How to use it more?” Self-efficacy and its sources in the use of social media for knowledge sharing", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 76 No. 1, pp. 231-257. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-02-2019-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited