The purpose of this study is to identify corporate blog design characteristics that positively influence the view of actual and potential corporate blog users. Moreover, based on the technology acceptance model (TAM), the paper examines the specific mechanism through which corporate blog design characteristics influence the acceptance of corporate blogs and assess the cross-country applicability of the developed framework.
Based on primary data of 992 individuals in three countries (Germany, Russia, and the USA), the paper tests the identified design characteristics and the proposed framework using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), multi-group confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling.
The results show the applicability of the TAM in the context of corporate blogs. Blog management and usability were found to be key determinants of perceived ease of use. Entertainment value as well as content value and interaction positively affect perceived enjoyment. Content value as well as blog management and usability are the key determinants of perceived usefulness of corporate blogs. Mediation tests revealed a partial mediation of the distal corporate blog design characteristics on attitude and usage intention by the proximal TAM elements.
The sample was self-selected from internet users and a limited number of countries. Associations with and understanding of the term “corporate blog” might vary between internet users as well as between the three focus countries.
Based on the research, companies are better able to adapt corporate blogs to target group characteristics and thus can better reach communication goals. The research can be used both for the establishment of new corporate blogs as well as for the adaptation of existing corporate blogs.
This study contributes to the existing literature by identifying and examining design characteristics that affect individuals' perceptions of corporate blogs. Furthermore, this is the first large-scale cross-country study in this research context that identifies the mechanism through which firms can actively influence the perceived usefulness, ease of use, and enjoyment of corporate blogs, which is important to better understand individuals' acceptance of corporate blogs in different national contexts.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited