Factors affecting information sharing in social networking sites amongst university students

Junga Kim (Department of Communication, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA)
Chunsik Lee (Department of Communication, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida USA)
Troy Elias (School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Publication date: 8 June 2015



Drawing upon the knowledge sharing model, the purpose of this paper is to identify personal and environmental antecedents to information sharing on social networking sites (SNSs) and examines the interaction effects between the two factors.


Data were collected via online survey with college students. Hierarchical multiple regressions were performed to test hypotheses and examine research questions.


With regard to environmental factors, the more users perceive their audience to be a collection of weak ties, the more likely they are to share information on SNSs, independent of the size of their networks. Personal factors such as information self-efficacy, positive social outcome expectations, and sharing enjoyment feelings were found to be significant predictors of sharing activities. In addition, a significant interaction effect was found such that the effects of social outcome expectations on sharing activities on SNSs are manifested to a greater extent when users perceive their audience as weak ties rather than strong ties.


This study extends the knowledge sharing model literature by applying it to the SNS context and advances SNS research by taking into consideration both environmental factors and personal factors and their interactions.



Kim, J., Lee, C. and Elias, T. (2015), "Factors affecting information sharing in social networking sites amongst university students", Online Information Review, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 290-309. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-01-2015-0022

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