Knowledge Sharing via Online Interpersonal ICTs: Application of the e-Mavenism Model
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The current study aims to facilitate the practice of online knowledge-sharing with the twin goals of improving online marketing communications and educating online users about health issues. First, based on previous findings in the realm of marketing and communications, four theoretical concepts — "market maven", diffusion of innovation, online word of mouth and viral marketing — along with several other influential factors are used to demonstrate how online knowledge-sharing occurs. Based on these concepts, the model of e-Mavenism is proposed to explain the cognitive process that leads to online knowledge-sharing behaviors. Second, the e-Mavenism model is tested to verify its usefulness in online marketing. In the third part of the dissertation, as an extended application of e-Mavenism from the perspective of marketing, the model is examined in terms of online health education and promotion. Survey participants recruited via undergraduate classes are asked to complete a questionnaire examining the e-Mavenism model. As a result, the current study creates and validates the e-Mavenism model, which fits well with marketing- and health-communications contexts. As an additional investigation, the impact of stimuli factors (message salience) on the e-Mavenism model was tested. Two product-related messages and one health-related message were selected and nine messages were created for a pre-test. After the pre-test measured the salience of nine messages, four (two marketing- and two health-related messages) were selected for use in determining the impact of message salience on the e-Mavenism model in marketing and health communications. It was concluded that the salience of messages was always the primary and most predictive factor in stimulating the intent to share information with others, regardless of the difference of the level of an online user's e-Mavenism and the message type. On the other hand, the construct of e-Mavenism only has the direct and positive impact for increasing the intention to share information with other online users when the model was stimulate by low salient marketing and health communication messages. Several theoretical and practical implications suggested by the empirical results are discussed in the final section of this dissertation. This study makes a significant contribution by proposing and empirically confirming the first theory and model — e-Mavenism and the e-Mavenism model — to fully describe the desire to share information with others via online Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). Practically, it seeks to utilize strategies stimulating three predictors of e-Mavenism — psychological motivation, level of knowledge and online social capital — to maximize e-Mavenism and the intent to share and distribute information via online ICTs.