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Abstract

Social networking services (SNS) are platforms to form and manage personal connections and create a foundation for human relationships. Intending to identify why, how, and for what outcome users use SNS, this study contributes to the body of knowledge on SNS by analyzing how motivation, participation, and performance are related to each other in the SNS context. Drawing on a theoretical perspective of the motivation-participation-performance framework, we identify four significant why motivations (i.e., vertical social, horizontal social, hedonic, and utilitarian motivations), two main ways (how) of participation (i.e., sharing and collaboration), and two ultimate benefits (for what outcome) of SNS use (i.e., personal and job performance). The analyzed results of empirical data collected from SNS users indicate that the identified motivations significantly influence participation in sharing and collaboration activities on SNS and that SNS participation significantly affects personal and professional/job-related performance. This study contributes to theory by providing a multidimensional view of SNS use, its predictors, and its consequences.

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