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Understanding Chinese users’ continuance intention toward online social networks: an integrative theoretical model

Abstract

This study explores users’ continuance intention in online social networks by synthesizing Bhattacherjee’s IS continuance theory with flow theory, social capital theory, and the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) to consider the special hedonic, social and utilitarian factors in the online social network environment. The integrated model was empirically tested with 320 online social network users in China. The results indicated that continuance intention was explained substantially by all hypothesized antecedents including perceived enjoyment, perceived usefulness, usage satisfaction, effort expectancy, social influence, tie strength, shared norms and trust. Based on the research findings, we offer discussions of both theoretical and practical implications.

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Acknowledgment

This research is supported in part by a Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20123326120005), Qianjiang talent Grant in Zhejiang Province (QJC1202013), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2011M500105, 2012T50560). This study is based upon work funded in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71102003/71002092) and the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Y7100626). In addition, this paper is sponsored by Zhejiang Industrial Development Policy Research Center and Zhejiang Provincial Key Research Base––Standardization and Intellectual Property Management (SIPM3230), and it is supported in part by the Contemporary Business and Trade Research Center of Zhejiang Gongshang University which is a Key Research Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Ministry of Education.

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Correspondence to Ling Liu.

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Responsible Editor: Hans-Dieter Zimmermann

Appendix

Appendix

Continuance intention (CI)

  1. 1.

    I intend to continue using online social network sites rather than discontinue use.

  2. 2.

    My intentions are to continue using online social network sites than use any alternative means.

  3. 3.

    If I could, I would like to discontinue my use of online social network sites (reverse coded).

Usage satisfaction (US)

How do you feel about your over experience with online social network sites use?

  1. 1.

    Very dissatisfied/Very satisfied

  2. 2.

    Very displeased/Very pleased

  3. 3.

    Very frustrated/Very contented

  4. 4.

    Absolutely terrible/Absolutely delighted

Perceived usefulness (PU)

  1. 1.

    Using online social network sites improves my efficiency in sharing information and connecting with others.

  2. 2.

    Using online social network sites enables me acquire more information or meet more people.

  3. 3.

    The online social network sites are a useful service for communication.

  4. 4.

    The online social network sites are a useful service for interaction of members.

Perceived enjoyment (PE)

  1. 1.

    Using online social network sites provides me with a lot of enjoyment.

  2. 2.

    I have fun using online social network sites.

  3. 3.

    Using online social network sites provides me with pleasure.

Effort expectancy (EE)

  1. 1.

    My interaction with the online social network sites is clear and understandable.

  2. 2.

    It is easy for me to become skillful at using the online social network sites.

  3. 3.

    I find the online social network sites easy to use.

  4. 4.

    Learning to operate the online social network sites is easy for me.

Social influence (SI)

  1. 1.

    People who influence my behavior think that I should use the online social network sites.

  2. 2.

    People who are important to me think that I should use the online social network sites.

  3. 3.

    People whose opinions I value prefer me to use the online social network sites.

  4. 4.

    People I look up to expect me to use the online social network sites.

Trust (T)

  1. 1.

    Online social network sites are safe environments in which to exchange information with others.

  2. 2.

    Online social network sites are reliable environments in which to conduct their activities.

  3. 3.

    Online social network sites handle personal information submitted by users in a competent fashion.

Shared norm (SN)

  1. 1.

    Online social network sites users I know share the same ambitions and vision with me.

  2. 2.

    Users I know in online social network sites are enthusiastic about pursuing the collective goal.

  3. 3.

    There is a norm of openness to conflicting views in the online social network sites.

Tie strength (TS)

  1. 1.

    How close is your relationship with each user in online social network sites? (1 = distant; 4 = somewhat close; 7 = very close)

  2. 2.

    How often do you communicate with each other in online social network sites? (1 = once every 3 months or less; 2 = once every 2nd month; 3 = once a month; 4 = twice a month; 5 = once a week; 6 = twice a week; 7 = daily)

  3. 3.

    To what extent do you typically interact with each person? (1 = to no extent; 4 = to some extent; 7 = to a very great extent)

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Sun, Y., Liu, L., Peng, X. et al. Understanding Chinese users’ continuance intention toward online social networks: an integrative theoretical model. Electron Markets 24, 57–66 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-013-0131-9

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Keywords

  • Online social network
  • Continuance intention
  • IS continuance theory
  • Flow theory
  • UTAUT
  • Social capital theory

JEL classification

  • M19 - Other