Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory: The Rise Of Social Media Platforms

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Rise of Social Media Platforms As of December 2016, the social networking platform, Facebook, has over 1.79bn monthly active users (Facebook, 2016). Similarly, social networking platform Twitter has an active user base of more than 20% of share of all the internet users and reach of about 40% of the share of all the internet users (Statista, 2016). The growth of social networking platform has become too big to ignore. The most commonly understood use of social networking platform is that it allows members to connect with each other forming a giant web of social network. Within this social network, users can navigate through the network and find out details such as personal background and personal preferences through others’ profiles (Zuniga,…show more content…
The cultural dimensions’ theory has been widely used and cited by researchers to study the relationship of culture to online activities such as online communication and web design. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension’s Theory describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis (Adeoye & Tomei, 2014). The main aim and focus of this research is to investigate the effect of how culture plays a role in affecting the behaviors and actions of users of social media. By investigating users’ activities in social media platforms in relation to culture, we can analyze if the cultural dimensions, outlined by Hofstede, determine and affect the way users behave and use social media platforms. 2. Theoretical Background 2.1 Existing literature on…show more content…
There are studies which study the use of cultural markers to increase usability of websites based on cultural differences (Sheppard & Scholtz, 1999). Cultural markers are design elements in a website that are more prevalent in one cultural group than another, they stem from the theory of cultural identity. Cultural identity theory theorizes a person’s sense of belonging to a particular group based on the process of learning and accepting cultural traits such as traditions, heritage and thinking patterns (Koester & Lustig, 2013). Cultural identity theory can also serve as a theoretical foundation to explain certain behavior within social media. Other theories used in the context of behavior over the internet include the cultural norms theory, theorized by Melvin DeFleur in 1970, which was used to explain why cultural norms are not apparent in email communication as compared to traditional face to face communication (Cakir, Bichelmeyer, & Cagiltay, 2002). However, with regards to the study of collaborative online communities, there is a lack in literature which consider the cultural perspective of how culture influences people’s behavior in working together in collaborative online communities. Therefore, in this research, the focus is on the use of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory to explore the relationship between cultural dimensions and users’ behavior in social

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