Key motivations for leading Facebook communities: a uses and gratifications approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Facebook community leaders, often nonprofessionals who make a personal decision to create and manage online spaces, are becoming key players on social media sites. Using the theoretical framework of the uses and gratifications theory, this paper reveals the motivations of these individuals who are responsible for the community's information flow, limits and members' well-being. While some studies have begun acknowledging community leaders' important role in the social media, very little is known about their motivations for creating and leading the communities, often voluntarily. Design/methodology/approach: Using both quantitative and qualitative analyses, data were collected through a survey of 94 Facebook community leaders about their motivations for creating and leading their communities. Findings: The content analysis of the open-ended question reveals that leaders are motivated to create communities to satisfy informational needs, social needs and individual interests. A factor analysis shows five distinct motivations for leading: social, personal, influence, efficacy and community goals. Finally, a hierarchical regression indicates that extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, time spent per day and being the creator of the community can predict the level of motivation to lead the Facebook community. Originality/value: As more and more organizations use online communities, the findings of this study may provide insights into leaders' motivations that can help organizations select their community leaders. This study expands on current research about a popular communication tool, Facebook communities, by examining it within the context of the unique role of online leadership in the social media environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-472
Number of pages19
JournalAslib Journal of Information Management
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • Motivations
  • Online community
  • Online leadership
  • Personality
  • Social media

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Key motivations for leading Facebook communities: a uses and gratifications approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this