Factors Affecting the Success of a Professional-specialized Social Network Site: Findings of a Qualitative Study in Iran

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Ph.D. Candidate in IT Management, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IranDoc), Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Prof. in IT Management, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IranDoc), Tehran, Iran

3 Ph.D. in Educational Informatics, Consultant, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IranDoc), Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Professional-specialized social network sites are a form of emerging online communities hosting academic users and scientific contents. Indeed, the success of these social networks requires studies that would provide the stakeholders with constructive and practical knowledge on the factors that may affect the success of these social networks. Despite the importance of the issue, literature review shows that the factors affecting the success of these networks have not been studied much. Therefore, this case study aimed to identify and extract the main factors affecting the success of a professional-specialized social network site using a qualitative approach with a focus on the experience of ANJOMAN, a social network in Iran, policy makers and users. According to the findings, the policy makers classified the main factors affecting the success of a social network into the following six categories: the society readiness to accept this idea, owner's credit, management support, users' motivation, website effectiveness, and management and control system efficiency. Moreover, the users believed that these effective factors can be placed into four categories: individual motivation, the establishment of efficient communication, content dynamism, and website attractiveness. These factors can lead to the implementation of more comprehensive policies and decisions. Accordingly, users will be more motivated to attend and participate in such social networks.

Keywords

Main Subjects


ایرانی، م‌.؛ حقیقی، م. (1392). تأثیر شبکه‌های اجتماعی بر پایداری کسب‌وکارهای اینترنتی (با تأکید بر نقش میانجی قصد کارآفرینانه در شرکت‌های اینترنتی درگاه بانک ملت). مدیریت فناوری اطلاعات، 5(4)، 46-23.

خواستار، ح.؛ عبدالهی، ک. (1395). مطالعه‌ای کیفی از عوامل حیاتی موفقیت پروژه‌های برنامه‌نویسی تلفن همراه. مدیریت فناوری اطلاعات، 8(2)، 294- 273.

خوش‌هیکل، م.؛ نظافتی، ن. (1393). شناسایی و انتخاب مناسب‎ترین رسانه‎های اجتماعی برای توسعۀ سیستم‎های مدیریت اجتماعی ارتباط با مشتریان (پیمایشی در بانک ملی ایران). مدیریت فناوری اطلاعات، 6(4)، 628- 607.

عارف‌نژاد، م.؛ امیرخانی، ط.؛ سبحانی، م. (1391). تبیین عوامل مؤثر بر موفقیت سیستم‌های اطلاعاتی: با تأکید بر نقش عوامل سازمانی و یادگیری سازمانی (‌مطالعۀ موردی سازمان صنایع و معادن استان اصفهان). مدیریت فناوری اطلاعات، 4(13)، 114- 89.

عسگری، ن.؛ جهانی، ب. (1395). نقش میانجی سرمایۀ اجتماعی در تأثیر رسانه‌های اجتماعی بر کیفیت دانش سازمانی و عملکرد نوآورانه. مدیریت فناوری اطلاعات، 8(4)، 770- 751.

نبی ‌میبدی، م.؛ علیدوستی، س.؛ نظری، م. (1396). مفهوم‌سازی عوامل موفقیت شبکه‌های اجتماعی برخط از دیدگاه کاربری و سیاست‌گذاری: مطالعۀ تحلیلی. فصلنامۀ راهبرد اجتماعی و فرهنگی، 6(22)، 81- 49.

Alarifi, A. & Sedera, D. (2013). Enhancing enterprise social network use: a control theory study. In 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems: Information Systems: Transforming the Future. Melbourne, Australia: RMIT University.

Aref Nejad, M., Amirkhani, T. & Sobhani, M. (2012). Explaining the Influential Factors on the Success of Information Systems: Organizational Factors and Organizational Learning (Case Study: Industries and Mines Organization). Journal of Information Technology Management, 4(13), 89-114. (in Persian)

Arpi, M. & Shademanpour, J. (2010). A Case Study of Motivators Behind The Use of Social Networking Sites. Lund University.

Asgari, N. & Jahani, B. (2016). Studying the Intervening Role of Social Capital in the Effect on Corporate Social Media on Quality of Knowledge and Innovational Performance. Journal of Information Technology Management, 8(4), 751-770. (in Persian)

Banbersta, M. (2010). The success factors of the Social Network Sites “Twitter.” Utrecht University of Applied Sciences & Cross media lab. Retrieved from http://www.crossmedialab.nl/files/SNS_Research.pdf.

Baugess, B. (2015). Examining Social Network Site Usage by Older Adults: A Phenomenological Approach. Nova Southeastern University.

Boyd, D. M. (2008). Why youth (heart) Social network sites: the role of networked publics in teenage social life. In D. Buckingham (Ed.), Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (pp. 119–142). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Boyd, D. M. & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210–230.

Brandtzæg, P. B. & Heim, J. (2009). Why People Use Social Networking Sites. In A. A. Ozok & P. Zaphiris (Eds.), Online communities and social computing (pp. 143–152). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Chang, Y. P. & Zhu, D. H. (2011). Understanding social networking sites adoption in China: A comparison of pre-adoption and post-adoption. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5), 1840–1848.

Chang, Y. P. & Zhu, D. H. (2012). The role of perceived social capital and flow experience in building users’ continuance intention to social networking sites in China. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(3), 995–1001.

Cheikh-Ammar, M. & Barki, H. (2016). The Influence of Social Presence, Social Exchange and Feedback Features on SNS Continuous Use: The Facebook Context. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 28(2), 33–52.

Cheung, C. M. K., Chiu, P.-Y. & Lee, M. K. O. (2011). Online social networks: Why do students use facebook? Computers in Human Behavior, 27(4), 1337–1343.

Chiang, H.-S. (2013). Continuous usage of social networking sites: The effect of innovation and gratification attributes. Online Information Review, 37(6), 851–871.

Chin, C. P.-Y., Evans, N. & Choo, K.-K. R. (2015). Exploring Factors Influencing the Use of Enterprise Social Networks in Multinational Professional Service Firms. Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 25(3), 289–315.

Cho, I., Park, H. & Kim, J. K. (2015). The relationship between motivation and information sharing about products and services on Facebook. Behaviour & Information Technology, 34(9), 858–868.

Coyne, I. T. (1997). Sampling in qualitative research. Purposeful and theoretical sampling; merging or clear boundaries? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 26(3), 623–630.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). London: SAGE Publications.

Dawson, R. (2009). Implementing Enterprise 2.0: A Practical Guide To Creating Business Value Inside Organizations With Web Technologies. San Francisco, CA: Advanced Human Technologies.

Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building Theories from Case Study Research. The Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.

Eisenhardt, K. M. & Graebner, M. E. (2007). Theory Building From Cases: Opportunities And Challenges. Academy of Management Journal, 50(1), 25–32.

Fu, F., Liu, L. & Wang, L. (2008). Empirical analysis of online social networks in the age of Web 2.0. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 387(2–3), 675–684.

Irani, M. & Haghighi, M. (2013). The Impact of Social Networks on the Internet Business Sustainability (With Emphasis on the Intermediary Role of Entrepreneurial Purpose of Online Branches of Mellat Bank’s Portal). Journal of Information Technology Management, 5(4), 23-46. (in Persian)

Isaías, P., Miranda, P. & Pífano, S. (2009). Critical Success Factors for Web 2.0 – A Reference Framework. In A. Ozok & P. Zaphiris (Eds.), Online Communities and Social Computing (Vol. 5621, pp. 354–363). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.

Jeng, W., He, D. & Jiang, J. (2015). User participation in an academic social networking service: A survey of open group users on Mendeley. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(5), 890–904.

Khastar, H. & Abdollahi, K. (2016). Critical Success Factors of Mobile Application Development Projects: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Information Technology Management, 8(2), 273-294. (in Persian)

Khoshheykal, M. & Nezafati, N. (2015). Identifying and selecting the most appropriate social media for the development of SCRM systems. Journal of Information Technology Management, 6(4), 607-628. (in Persian)

Kim, W., Jeong, O.-R. & Lee, S.-W. (2010). On social Web sites. Information Systems, 35(2), 215–236.

Kourouthanassis, P., Lekakos, G. & Gerakis, V. (2015). Should I stay or should I go? The moderating effect of self-image congruity and trust on social networking continued use. Behaviour & Information Technology, 34(2), 190–203.

Kwon, O. & Wen, Y. (2010). An Empirical Study of the Factors Affecting Social Network Service Use. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(2), 254–263.

Lee, S. M., Kim, T., Noh, Y. & Lee, B. (2010). Success factors of platform leadership in web 2.0 service business. Service Business, 4(2), 89–103.

Lee, S. Y., Hansen, S. S. & Lee, J. K. (2016). What makes us click like on Facebook? Examining psychological, technological, and motivational factors on virtual endorsement. Computer Communications, 73, 332–341.

Madhusudhan, M. (2012). Use of social networking sites by research scholars of the University of Delhi: A study. International Information and Library Review, 44(2), 100–113.

Mangani, A. (2017). Social networking websites: who survives? Applied Economics, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2017.1296549.

Marvasti, A. B. (2004). Qualitative Research in Sociology. London: SAGE Publications.

Merriam, S. B. (2010). Qualitative Case Studies. In P. Peterson, E. Baker & B. McGaw (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education (3rd Ed., pp. 456–462). Oxford: Elsevier.

Nabi-Meybodi, M., Alidousti, S. & Nazari, M. (2017). Conceptualization of online social networks success factors from a user and policymaker perspective: An analytical study. Socio-Cultural Strategy Journal, 6(22), 49-81. (in Persian)

Nicholas, D. & Rowlands, I. (2011). Social media use in the research workflow. Information Services & Use, 31, 61–83.

Nicholas, D., Herman, E. & Jamali, H. R. (2015). Emerging reputation mechanisms for scholars. Seville (Spain).

Petticrew, M. & Roberts, H. (2006). Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

See-To, E. W. K. & Ho, K. K. W. (2014). Value co-creation and purchase intention in social network sites: The role of electronic Word-of-Mouth and trust – A theoretical analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 31, 182–189.

Tashakkori, A. & Newman, I. (2010). Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Research: Integration. In P. Peterson, E. Baker & B. McGaw (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education (3rd Ed., pp. 514–520). Oxford: Elsevier.

Van Noorden, R. (2014). Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network. Nature, 512(7513), 126–129.

Wauters, R. (2011). From Social Network Pioneer To Yet Another Gaming Site: Friendster Reboots. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/29/from-social-network-pioneer-to-yet-another-gaming-site-friendster-reboots.

Yu, R. P., Ellison, N. B., McCammon, R. J. & Langa, K. M. (2015). Mapping the two levels of digital divide: Internet access and social network site adoption among older adults in the USA. Information, Communication & Society, 4462(November), 1–20.

Zahari, Z. & Pardede, E. (2012). Analysis of Success Factors in Social Networking Website Development. In M. Safar & K. Mahdi (Eds.). Social Networking and Community Behavior Modeling: Qualitative and Quantitative Measures (pp. 103–121). IGI Global.