The Impact of Social Media Knowledge Acquisition on Innovation and Financial Performance of the Firm: A Mixed Methods Approach

  • Ali El Samra

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Firms have been increasingly applying different social media initiatives for different organizational objectives, but which initiatives have an impact on which objectives is still not well understood. In this research, we empirically examine the impact of two social media initiatives - social media information collection and social media proactive market orientation- on innovation and financial performance at the firm level. We also examine the potential role of three mediators within these relationships: IT infrastructure, social capital, and organizational capital. To do so, this study follows a mixed methods approach, where both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analysed. The purpose of the quantitative data is to test the hypotheses and the developed conceptual model, while the purpose of the qualitative data is to triangulate the quantitative results. Data were collected through two surveys, one quantitative and one qualitative, from firms in the United States. Structural Equation Modelling was used to analyse the quantitative data, while thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data. Our findings provide empirical evidence on the positive effects of both social media initiatives on innovation and financial performance, and on the roles of IT infrastructure, social capital, and organizational capital within these relationships.
Date of Award1 Jul 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLeonidas Anastasakis (Supervisor), Pavel Albores (Supervisor) & Victoria Uren (Supervisor)


  • Social Media
  • innovation
  • financial performance
  • IT infrastructure
  • social capital
  • organizational capital
  • mixed methods

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