Understanding the usage of global social networking sites by Arabs through the lens of uses and gratifications theory

Ibrahim M Al-Jabri (Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
M. Sadiq Sohail (Department of Management and Marketing, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Nelson Oly Ndubisi (Department of Management & Marketing, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Cluster, Covenant Business School, Ota, Nigeria)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Publication date: 17 August 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the determinants and usage of global technology services in Saudi Arabia. The technology under investigation is social network technology, Twitter.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon relevant extant literature, the paper proposes a research model, which examines the relationship between personal and social factors and usage of Twitter, as well as the moderating effects of gender and user experience. Data were collected online from 281 Saudi Twitter users, and the research model was empirically tested using standard procedures.

Findings

The findings support some of the proposed direct and moderating effects. For example, enjoyment, freedom of expression, and social interaction were found to influence Twitter usage. Gender as well as user experience has a moderating effect in the relationship between self-presentation and usage.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework contributes to global (technology) services management and marketing research by integrating personal and social factors, and demographics as direct and contingent factors in understanding user acceptance of social network technologies in the Arab region. Detailed discussions of the research, managerial and contextual implications conclude the paper.

Originality/value

The personal and social motives behind the use of social network sites in the Arab region particularly Saudi Arabia is ill understood due to a dearth of research on the region. This paper helps to bridge this research and knowledge gap.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the support received from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia in completion of this research. The authors are thankful for initial comments offered by Professor Jay Kandampully. The authors are also thankful for constructive comments provided by two anonymous reviewers.

Citation

Al-Jabri, I., Sohail, M. and Ndubisi, N. (2015), "Understanding the usage of global social networking sites by Arabs through the lens of uses and gratifications theory", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 662-680. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-01-2015-0037

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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