Date of Graduation

8-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Stephen W. Dittmore

Committee Member

Sarah Stokowski

Second Committee Member

Wen-juo Lo

Third Committee Member

Kasey Walker

Keywords

Social sciences; Communication and the arts; Culture; New media; Sport organizations; Twitter; Users' motivation; Weibo

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to explore how culture shapes Social media users’ usage as they follow sport organizations on two similar microblogging services - Twitter and Weibo. In particular, the study attempted to measure whether Social media users exhibited different usage pattern, points of attachment, and usage motivations within two different cultural environments known as individualism and collectivism.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Social media followers were selected and invited to participant in this study. There were 839 the Lakers’ Weibo followers and 334 Twitter followers who completed an online survey facilitated on Qualtrics. The results of Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated that the Lakers’ Twitter and Weibo followers displayed significant differences in points of attachment where Weibo followers had higher affiliations with the sport, the player, and the NBA than Twitter followers. However, Twitter users had a higher association with the team compared to Weibo engagers.

Different motives were revealed explaining why users follow the Lakers on Twitter and on Weibo. The results of MANOVA tests revealed that Weibo users were more motivated than Twitter users in multiple categories: obtaining information, entertainment, technical knowledge, expressing support to athletes, interactivity, escaping from the current life, and fulfilling curiosity. However, Twitter followers were more motivated when it came to convenience and team support than Weibo followers. There was not a significant difference in pass-time motivation between two groups.

The relationships between Social media users’ motivation and their interactivity have also been examined in this research. The results of stepwise regression analysis revealed that information and team support were two significant motives to predict Weibo users’ activeness. Twitter users, however, could be more active if their demands in entertainment, team support, and technical knowledge were satisfied.

In this study, the relationships between Social media users’ points of attachment and their motivation were also measured. The results of stepwise multiple regressions indicated that both Twitter and Weibo followers’ motive of team support was positively related to their team identification, but was negatively associated with their player identification and attachment to the NBA.

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