PACIS 2021 Proceedings

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Social influence constructs are commonly adopted in Information Systems (IS) research when investigating individual interactions in online social networks (OSNs). However, most of these constructs were developed prior to the advent of OSNs. As a consequence, there is limited research on how the unique attributes of the online environment might cause social influence to operate differently within OSNs. Indeed, IS studies that have applied social influence to OSNs have presented inconsistent findings regarding the most applicable social influence constructs. Through a critical review of 83 IS studies, we investigated the challenges of applying social influence theory in IS research. We synthesised our findings in the form of five recommendations concerning clarity and precision in the use of social influence constructs in OSN research. Our recommendations aim to support IS researchers to frame social influence constructs more effectively for OSNs.



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