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"Why not use it more?" Sources of self-efficacy in researchers’ use of social media for knowledge sharing

Alshahrani, Hussain Saad M and Pennington, Diane (2018) "Why not use it more?" Sources of self-efficacy in researchers’ use of social media for knowledge sharing. Journal of Documentation, 74 (6). ISSN 0022-0418

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Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the sources of self-efficacy that researchers rely on when using social media for knowledge sharing and to explore how these sources impact their use. Design/methodology/approach: The study employed 30 semi-structured interviews with researchers at a major Scottish university. Researchers analysed the interview transcriptions using directed content analysis. Findings: The researchers relied on the four sources of self-efficacy proposed by Bandura (1977) when using social media for knowledge sharing. These sources lead researchers to use social media effectively and frequently for sharing knowledge, although some may discourage its use. Research limitations/implications: It extends the self-efficacy integrative theoretical framework of Bandura (1977) by presenting the relative amount of the influence of these sources for researchers to share their ideas, experiences, questions, and research outputs on social media. While the participants included academic staff, postdoctoral researchers, and PhD students, the majority were PhD students. Practical implications: The findings can help universities understand how to promote productive use of social media. For example, academic staff who have high personal mastery experience could mentor those who do not. Originality/value: This is the first known study to investigate the sources of self-efficacy that impact researchers’ use of social media for knowledge sharing.