Exploring adaptive information sharing from the perspective of cognitive switching. The moderating effect of task self-efficacy

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-07-2018-0176
Pages535-557
Publication Date15 July 2019
Date15 July 2019
AuthorXianjin Zha,Haijuan Yang,Yalan Yan,Guanxiang Yan,Chengsong Huang,Kunfeng Liu
SubjectLibrary & information science,Information behaviour & retrieval,Information & knowledge management,Information management & governance,Information management
Exploring adaptive information
sharing from the perspective of
cognitive switching
The moderating effect of task self-efficacy
Xianjin Zha and Haijuan Yang
School of Information Management, Center for Studies of Information Resources,
Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
Yalan Yan
Evergrande School of Management, Center for Service Science and Engineering,
Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
Guanxiang Yan
Laboratory Center for Library and Information Science,
School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, and
Chengsong Huang and Kunfeng Liu
School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
Abstract
Purpose Microblogging as one kind of social media application provides an important information sharing
platform. Adaptive information sharing is the combination of adaptive information technologies (IT) use
behavior and information sharing behavior and subsequently refers to adaptive use of IT oriented to
information sharing. The purpose of this paper is to understand adaptive information sharing in the context
of microblogging from the perspective of cognitive switching.
Design/methodology/approach A research model was developed and survey data were collected. The
partial least squares structural equation modeling was employed to verify the research model.
Findings Adaptive information sharing is positively impacted by other peoples use, discrepancies and
deliberate initiatives among which other peoples use is the key determinant. Meanwhile, task self-efficacy
positively moderates the effect of other peoples use on adaptive information sharing.
Practical implications Developers of microblogging should as far as possible create learning atmosphere
and learning culture. With learning atmosphere and culture, more and more users could keep on learning
from observing other people. Consequently, more and more users would be willing to try new features of
microblogging to share information.
Originality/value This study examines adaptive information sharing by extending adaptive IT use
behavior from the levels of technology, system and feature to the information level, presenting a new lens for
adaptive IT use and information sharing alike.
Keywords Social media, Microblogging, Adaptive information sharing, Adaptive structuration theory,
Cognitive switching, Task self-efficacy
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Social mediainclude a group of internet-basedapplications that build on the technological and
ideological foundations of Web 2.0,allowing users to generate andshare content (Kaplan and
Haenlein,2010). The primary significanceof social media lies in the factthat users could share
their thoughts, information or experiences (Chen et al., 2018; Chung et al., 2016; Kang, 2018).
Information sharing is one unique and essential function of social media, having received Aslib Journal of Information
Management
Vol. 71 No. 4, 2019
pp. 535-557
© Emerald PublishingLimited
2050-3806
DOI 10.1108/AJIM-07-2018-0176
Received 20 July 2018
Revised 1 December 2018
17 February 2019
6 April 2019
Accepted 10 April 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2050-3806.htm
This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos 71573195,
71774126, 91646206, 71874124, 71804136).
535
Moderating
effect of task
self-efficacy
much attention in prior studies. Liu L. et al. (2016) examined information sharing on social
commerce sites. They suggested that social commerce sites are a new model of social media,
providing fertileground for customers to share their opinions andproduct- or service-related
information. Their results showed that information sharing is influenced by both individual
factors and social capital factors. Chung et al. (2016) examined information sharing in social
networking sites, suggesting that network externality, social interaction, self-image
expression and enjoyment of helping have significant effects on identity-based attachment
and bond-based attachment, both of which have significant effects on information sharing.
Liu I.L.B. et al. (2016) examined the effect of information sharing on user satisfaction with
microblogging, suggesting that it is information sharing rather than social networking that
makes people feel satisfied with the use of microblogging. In the current study, we focus on
information sharing in the context of microblogging.
Microblogging is one kind of important social media application, by which
microbloggers could express and share their thoughts, information or experiences.
Microblogging was initially termed in the early 2000s and became more popular with the
introduction of Twitter which so far continues to be the most widely used microblogging
platform (Ortega, 2017; Williams et al., 2013). Microblogging contains social structures, and
the use of microblogging also contains social structures, resulting in bigger challenges to
and higher requirements for the effective use of microblogging. Adaptive structuration
theory (AST) provides a general framework for understanding how individuals integrate
information technologies (IT) into their work practice, describing the interplay between the
social structures contained within IT and the social structures emerging with the use of IT
(DeSanctis and Poole, 1994). Following AST whose core ideas are structuration and
appropriation, prior studies have extensively examined various behaviors related to
adaptive IT use, such as trying to innovate with IT (Ahuja and Thatcher, 2005), adaptive
routinization of health IT (Goh et al., 2011), workaround (Alter, 2014) and IT feature
extension (Benlian, 2015). However, prior studies examined adaptive IT use behavior at
the levels of technology, system or feature. Examining adaptive IT use behavior at the
information level was largely overlooked, which we suggest could usefully promote the
understanding of deeper social structures of IT use. To fill this gap, the current study
extends adaptive IT use behavior from the levels of technology, system and feature to the
information level. Specifically, we examine adaptive information sharing which is the
combination of adaptive IT use behavior and information sharing behavio r and
subsequently refers to adaptive use of IT oriented to information sharing.
This study explores adaptive information sharing from the cognitive switching
perspective. In general, automatic and conscious cognitive modes reflect two kinds of
individualscognitive processing. Building on prior research which examined the dynamics
within a certaincognitive mode, Louis and Suttonproposed the cognitive switching theory by
examining movement from automatic to conscious cognition. They identified three kinds of
cognitive switching stimuli, namely, novelty, discrepancy and deliberate initiative (Louis and
Sutton, 1991). Drawing on the cognitive switching theory and AST, the current study
examines the effects of cognitive switching stimuli on adaptive information sharing.
Moreover, self-efficacy reflects individualsconfidence in their capabilities to deal with
prospective circumstances, which is often the factor that has the most impact on their
performance(Bandura, 1977, 1982). In the contextof social media where usersgenerally do not
know one another, sharing valuable thoughts, information or experiences has long been
identifiedas a bottleneck (Yan and Davison,2013). Compared with other kindsof self-efficacy,
task self-efficacyhas more implications for adaptiveinformation sharing. Indeed, peoplewith
higher task self-efficacy are more welcometo share their thoughts, informationor experiences.
Consequently, the current study further explores the moderating effects of task self-efficacy
on the impacts of cognitive switching stimuli on adaptive information sharing.
536
AJIM
71,4

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