User-centered design of business communities. The influence of diversity factors on motives to use communities in professional settings


The professional use and implementation of social media or social media related applications are booming. Solutions like business internal communities promise to connect employees in a more flexible way than old-fashioned mailing lists or static network drives ever could. New solutions are perceived to support communication independent from time and space and in allow a more flexible way of communicating direct as well as indirect through the offer of different communication media (chat, voice over IP, mail, blog, etc.). But in contrast to remarkably good application scenarios, reality is not keeping up. Therefore more investigations of usage conditions and acceptance parameters are needed to find out which showstoppers interfere with a successful implementation. Due to the fact that acceptance by future users is one core condition for a successful implementation of software within operational structures and processes, this paper presents a study with focus on motivational issues to use business communities depending on diversity factors. In this study the focus is set on the diversity factors age, gender, social media expertise, achievement motivation, and perceived locus of control over technology (ploc). First results revealed that the classical user diversity variables age and gender do not influence the motives to use business communities. In contrast technology related diversity factors and achievement motivation revealed correlations with usage motives (r > .3). The most important motives were the need for information and autonomy. Achievement motivation showed the strongest correlation with the need for social interaction (r = .51), indicating that highly motivated people can be motivated to use a SNS if it facilitates social interaction.

In: Procedia Manufacturing, (3), pp. 645–652