Original Research

Motives influencing Facebook usage as a social networking site: An empirical study using international students

Courage Gwena, Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Chioneso Marange
Acta Commercii | Vol 18, No 1 | a521 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v18i1.521 | © 2018 Courage Gwena, Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Chioneso Marange | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 June 2017 | Published: 20 June 2018

About the author(s)

Courage Gwena, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Chioneso Marange, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Recent trends in the world show a growing usage of social networking sites. Research has grown in interest on understanding uses of social networking sites by different groups of people. With increasing numbers of international students being hosted by South African institutions, it is imperative that special focus should be directed towards understanding their usage of social networking sites as part of their lived experience.

Research purpose: The purpose of the study was to investigate the motives influencing Facebook usage amongst international students at a rural campus in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Continued increase in international student enrolment at South African institutions, coupled with rising popularity of social networking sites amongst university students, has presented a new area to carry out research of this nature.

Research approach, design and method: A quantitative research approach was followed in carrying out this study. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed to answer the research questions of the study. The respondents (n= 158) were international students enrolled at a rural university campus in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa during the 2016 academic year.

Main findings: Motives for Facebook usage were found to be positively related to Facebook usage.

Practical and managerial implications: Findings of this study can assist international education practitioners to develop strategies that will aid in understanding how international students operate in the higher education context.


Keywords

social media; international students; rural campus

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