Social media and student performance: the moderating role of ICT knowledge

AuthorRobert Kwame Dzogbenuku, George Kofi Amoako, Desmond K. Kumi
Publication Date21 Nov 2019
Social media and student
performance: the moderating role
of ICT knowledge
Robert Kwame Dzogbenuku
Department of Marketing, Central University Accra Ghana, Accra, Ghana
George Kofi Amoako
Department of Marketing, Central University Accra Ghana, Accra, UK, and
Desmond K. Kumi
Dal Consultancy Ltd, Accra, Ghana
Purpose This study aims to determinethe impact of social media usage on university students academic
performancein Ghana.
Design/methodology/approach A quantitative researchmethod was used for the study. With the aid
of a simple random sampling technique, quantitative data were obtained from 373 out of 400 respondents
representing 93 per cent of volunteered participants. Data collected was analysed using structural equation
modelling to establish the relationship among social media information, social media entertainment, social
media innovation,social media knowledge generation and student performance.
Findings The ndings of this study indicatethat social media information, social media innovationand
social media entertainment all had a signicant positive inuence on social media knowledge generation,
which has wide learningand knowledge management implications. Also,the study indicated that information
computertechnology knowledge moderates the relationshipbetween social media and studentperformance.
Research limitations/implications The sample taken was mainly cross-sectional in nature rendering the
inference of causal relationships between the variables impossible. Future researchers should adopt a longitudinal
research design to examine causality. Finally, the study was limited to only university students in Accra, Ghana.
Future research can extend to a bigger student population and to other West African and African countries.
Practical implications This paper will serve as a protable source of information for managersand
researchers who may embark on future research on social media and academic performance. The ndings
that social media information, innovation and entertainment can likewise enhance social media knowledge
generation can help managers anduniversity teachers to use the vehicle of innovation and entertainmentto
Social implications The ndings of this study will help policymakers in education and other industries
that engage the youth to realise the important factors that can make them get the best in the social media space.
Originality/value Social media usage in academicperformance is increasingly prevalent. However, little
is known about how socialmedia knowledge generation mediates between socialmedia usage and academic
performance and, furthermore, whether the information computer technology knowledge level of students
moderates the relationship between social media knowledge generation and academic performance of
university students in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Ghana. Theoretically, the ndings of this study
provide clear research evidence to guide various investigationsthat can be done on the relationships of the
variables under social media usage, knowledge generation and university student performance, which
advancesthe diffusion of new knowledge.
Keywords Ghana, Student performance, University students, Social media usage,
Information computer technology knowledge, Social media knowledge generation
Paper type Research paper
Social media
and student
Received16 August 2019
Revised15 October 2019
Accepted21 October 2019
Journalof Information,
Communicationand Ethics in
Vol.18 No. 2, 2020
pp. 197-219
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JICES-08-2019-0092
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
University campuses are conducive to the promotion of sound academic knowledge, and
foster relationships to support humanity. Students, being social creatures, become more
socialised on campus; nonetheless, today the social life of students and student groups are
driven by social media credited to internet availability to satisfy digital aspirations (Tajfel
and Turner, 1986;Turner, 1999).Indeed, the internet can be described as one of the wonders
of the twenty-rst century due to its ubiquitousand convenient benet even though it alters
the lifestyle of users daily with additivetendencies enticing users to be hooked-on for hours
to satisfy digital needs (Dzogbenukuand Kumi, 2018).
Digital ethnography reveals how the internet remains an embedded, embodied, daily
phenomenon among individuals and corporaterms who leverage on social media for gain
(Shepherd and Lane, 2019;Hine, 2015). In business, social media integrates marketing
communication, coordinates content, timing and frequency, and magnied word-of-mouth
to promote brands (Baglione et al.,2017;Mangold and Faulds, 2009). It is considered one of
the most common socially engaging activities among university students (Aljabri et al.,
2019; Fujita et al., 2018;Gikasand Grant, 2013). Carr and Hayes (2015) dene social media as
Internet-based channels facilitate opportunistic interaction, selective self-presence in real-
time using asynchronousaudiences for user-generated online content.
Internet-based applications are built on ideological and technological foundations of
Web 2.0, which promotes creation and exchange of user generated contents irrespectiveof
user location on the globe (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2009). Web 2.0, applications facilitate
interactive information sharing,interoperability, and user-centred designs for collaboration.
Social media deeds, that is social network sites (SNS). A social networking site is an online
platform that allows users to create a public prole and interact with other users on the
website. This includes micro-blogs, Twitter Facebook, MySpace and content based
communities like YouTube, and Flickr. These novel communication tools promote
socialisation, entertainment, self-promotion, communication and dissemination of
information among connectedusers (Park et al., 2009) anywhere, at any time. Availability of
smartphones connected to the internet is arguably the main driver of the social media
phenomenon, hence users (especially students) described as technology savvy spend hours
hooked-on the internet to satisfy e-aspirations mainly for academic and entrainment needs
(Dzogbenuku and Kumi,2018;Giunchiglia et al.,2018).
The fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) has given impetus to knowledge creation,
digital promotion Shahroom, and Hussin, 2018) thereby changing lifestyle and interaction.
Expects in education recognises insightful impact of IR 4.0 to advancing information
technological communication and innovations to enhance academic. Further, IR 4.0 creates
jobs thereby eliminating joblessness in the case of universities, new knowledge can be
advanced new knowledge generation and innovation. To be innovative, people must go
beyond current situation by developing novel knowledge to improve life and living
standards which ultimatelymust have transformative effect on the wider society. Education
must not only create new ideas and inventions for performance but must be meaningful to
serve millions of students and teachers and wider society and the generation unborn
(Shelton, 2011).
It is therefore not surprising that the academic community have impacted its
stakeholders to benet from it. In the eld of education, social media allows students to
share information, enhance socialinteraction, and facilitate teaching and learning processes
virtually and simultaneously (Al-Kalifa and Garcia, 2013). Unfortunately, researchers have
uncovered mix evidence abouthow the social media phenomenon equates to academic work
(Paul et al., 2012). First, studieson Facebook (Junco, 2012; Meier et al., 2016), smartphone and

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