Factors affecting social media use by entrepreneurs and the impact of this use on the opportunity recognition process

Olanrewaju, A 2020, Factors affecting social media use by entrepreneurs and the impact of this use on the opportunity recognition process, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Factors affecting social media use by entrepreneurs and the impact of this use on the opportunity recognition process
Author(s) Olanrewaju, A
Year 2020
Abstract Social media is believed to play an essential role in supporting entrepreneurial business and opportunity recognition. However, little is known about the factors that drive social media use and how social media capabilities impact entrepreneurial opportunity recognition. In exploring the role of social media to understand the potential role of social media use on entrepreneurial opportunity recognition, the study was based on the Technological-Organization-Environmental (TOE) and the Opportunity Recognition Frameworks. A mixedmethod study was conducted with data collected from a developed economy (Australia) and a developing country (Nigeria). An initial research model was developed based on the extant review of literature on social media use and entrepreneur opportunity recognition.

Firstly, qualitative data were collected via interviews with 14 entrepreneurs, which identified eight factors under four broad categories (technology, environment, individual and social media platform factors) that influence entrepreneur social media use. Also, five social media capabilities were identified (networking, searching, observing, experimenting, and social media data analytics) to drive entrepreneurial opportunity recognition. Comparing the qualitative data with themes developed from published literature, the initial research model was revised.

In the second stage, a survey of 568 entrepreneurs was used to validate the model and its associated relationships. The analysis suggests that four general factors influence social media use; platform perception, absorptive capacity, platform abuse and external pressure. In addition, the use of social media was found to influence opportunity recognition through four of the five identified capabilities: searching, observing, experimenting, and data analytics. However, the findings indicate differences on how social media capability drives opportunity recognition amongst entrepreneur in Australia and Nigeria, which can be explained based on their individualist and collectivist culture respectively. Interestingly, the multi-group analysis revealed that the influence of social media capabilities on opportunity recognition might vary depending on the entrepreneur's gender and the age of their business. The theoretical contribution and practical implications of the findings to social media companies, entrepreneurs, and policymakers were discussed. The study limitation includes being a cross sectional study, focusing on small businesses and evaluating two countries.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Subjects Entrepreneurship
Human Information Behaviour
Information Systems Management
Keyword(s) Social media
Opportunity recognition
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Created: Tue, 12 May 2020, 15:08:57 EST by Adam Rivett
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