ISSN 1822-6515 ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT: 2010. 15
OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH ON CROSS-CULTURAL IMPACT ON SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES Elena Vitkauskaite
Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania, email@example.com
Such social networking sites as MySpace, Facebook, Cyworld, and Bebo since the moment of their introduction have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices. However none of these sites are equally popular across cultures. This article analyses research which was carried out up to date in the area of cross-cultural issues in social networking sites. Cross-cultural research about the use of social networking sites up to date mostly involves analysis of only one or few social networking sites, most often analysed audiences are universities and students, in many cases only few users of websites surveyed or observed per website and or country. Thus larger scalle research is needed to rearch significant results in area of evaluating cross-cultural isues in social networking sites across the world. Keywords: social networking sites, culture, cross-cultural difference, e-commerce.
The role of information and communication technologies has been growing in the economic and social life recently. Development trends show that the sector is not only the main stimulus of global business, but also an important part of the global industry (Gatautis, 2008). Social networking sites, as new trend in ICT world, have come a long way since the initial efforts of computer-mediated social networking such as USENET, LISTSERV and Bulletin Board Services. Such social networking sites as MySpace, Facebook, Cyworld, and Bebo since the moment of their introduction have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices (boyd & Ellison, 2008). Quite a number of these websites became international and are used widely across the world. What is interesting to note, however, is that none of these sites are equally popular across cultures (Marcus & & Krishnamurthi, 2009). For example MySpace is very popular in the USA, with about 74 % of the market share despite its famously cluttered layout, but captures only 2.9% of the Japanese market share (Marcus & & Krishnamurthi, 2009). Could this fact be attributed to differences in American and Japanese culture? K. Keršienė and A. Savanevičienė (2009) claim that national cultural differences are critical in investigating the cultural diversity influence on international organizations. L. Žitkus and A. Junevičius (2007) claim that in the context of organizational and management science, culture most often occurs as an independent variable, which, together with economic, social, political, technological and other factors affects the development of the companies as well as the solutions and actions of the managers. According to B. Melnikas (2007), the attitudes to the significance of equal rights principle characterize the society and its culture. Scientists proved that culture not only affects various areas of human activity but depends on economical growth as well (Übius ir Alas, 2009). Any website has to choose a course of actions when entering to international market. Possible traditional marketing strategies are (Alimienė ir Kuvykaitė, 2008): standardisation, localisation (adaptation) strategy or compromise approach between standardisation and localisation. Previous studies on whether websites should be localised or standardised (Faiola & Matei, 2005; Singh, Zhao & Hu, 2005; and other) point to one general conclusion – that web content needs to be adapted to the different cultures of its targeted consumers (Singh, Kumar & Baack, 2005). Supposedly this statement includes social networking sites as well. Currently not much research is carried in respect to cultural differences in social networking sites as to date, the bulk of...