It would undermine the sustainable development of social media if current content contributors started lurking silently. Regarding the social attribute of social media, this study explored the important role of social factors (e.g., social ties) in motivating lurking behavior. Specifically, we introduced three dimensions of role stress as mediators to explain the different mechanisms of social ties on lurking, and regarded perceived heterogeneity as the moderator to define the boundary conditions under which total effect of social ties is positive or negative. Results of data from 312 Microblog users indicate that social ties have a positive impact on lurking through role overload while insignificant impacts through role conflict and ambiguity. Total effect of social ties on lurking becomes negative when perceived heterogeneity is low while positive when perceived heterogeneity is high. Theoretical contributions, practical implications and limitations are also discussed.
Lei, Wuping; Zhang, Yiwen; and Sun, Yongqiang, "Understanding the Differential Effects of Social Ties on Lurking Behavior in Social Media from a Role Stress Perspective" (2021). PACIS 2021 Proceedings. 14.
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