Shattering the boundaries through self-efficacy : exploring the social media habits of South African previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs

Stevens, Julie (2013-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary purpose of this study is to explore the social media habits of South African previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs and the way in which the activity of online social networking through social networking sites (SNS) results in the outcome of building social capital for a business venture. At the heart of addressing the research topic is the concept of selfefficacy, which is explored as a key component of human motivation and behaviour. The study explores how self-efficacy beliefs are developed with regard to social media usage and their potential to influence positive outcomes for a business. Based on the research topic, the study which is empirical in nature, has applied a qualitative research design in order to interpret rather than measure self-efficacy behaviours related to social media usage. A purposive non-probability sampling procedure has been adopted to select twelve previously disadvantaged South African entrepreneurs for the study. Semi-structured interviews provide for an interactive and insightful data collection process. As a qualitative study, attention is given to guidelines which establish reliability and validity. Key findings from the study support and refine established Internet selfefficacy research (Eastin & LaRose, 2000) based on Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986). Based on the established relationships between various constructs and self-efficacy beliefs, the results of the study have been interpreted positively. The findings of the study contribute to the current digital divide debate, and point to a narrowing of the access and participation gap. According to the sample, social media has become embedded in their daily lives for both social and business purposes, and is contributing towards building social capital. This study provides scope to further explore social media as a new opportunity for previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs in South Africa.

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