Title: Social networking sites: an exploration of the effect of national cultural dimensions on country adoption rates and usage patterns

Authors: Rodney L. Stump; Wen Gong

Addresses: Department of Marketing, Towson University, Stephens Hall 123-L, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252, USA ' Marketing Department, School of Business, Howard University, Washington DC, 20059, USA

Abstract: This study investigates the impact of Hofstede's cultural framework on adoption rates of social networking sites (SNS) and usage patterns across 30 countries, while controlling for a country's median age, urban population level and mobile internet penetration. Hierarchical regressions are conducted. Findings reveal that masculinity/femininity (MAS), uncertainty avoidance (UAI) and long-term orientation (LTO), significantly impact nations' adoption levels of SNS above and beyond the effects of median age and urban population level. Conversely, only LTO was found to be a significant predictor of average time spent on SNS. It is among the first to specifically relate cultural perspectives to country adoption levels and usage patterns of SNS. Moreover, it incorporates a fuller range of cultural dimensions than previous studies. We provide a theoretical framework and supporting empirical evidence to underscore the importance of cultural impacts on SNS adoption behaviour across countries. Implications, limitations and directions for future research are provided.

Keywords: social networking sites; SNS; national adoption rates; national culture; cultural dimensions; usage patterns; Hofstede; masculinity; femininity; uncertainty avoidance; long-term orientation; gender; cultural impact; adoption behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2017.083288

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2017 Vol.13 No.2/3, pp.117 - 142

Received: 02 Dec 2015
Accepted: 23 Jan 2016

Published online: 23 Mar 2017 *

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