Perceived critical mass and collective intention in social media-supported small group communication

Xiao Liang Shen*, Christy M K Cheung, Matthew K.O. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    The increasing popularity of Web 2.0 has dramatically changed the way in which people communicate with others in their daily life or work. However, the use of social media is fundamentally different from that of traditional information technologies. Specifically, it requires collective efforts and interdependence between two or more people, and thus the usage behavior is no longer an individual's own decision or plan. Built on critical mass theory and social influence processes, this study tries to make an attempt to understand the determinants of collective intention (we-intention), which represents one's perception of a group of people acting as a unit. Instant messaging, one of the most popular social media platforms, has been chosen for investigation, and findings from a survey showed that perceived critical mass influenced we-intention both directly and indirectly through group norm and social identity. Recognizing the importance and relevance of collective intention will advance current understanding beyond individual intention-based models which are widely adopted in prior IS research. This study may be limited by having not included other alternative social technologies, but we leave this work for future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)707-715
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Information Systems
    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Library and Information Sciences

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Collective intention
    • Perceived critical mass
    • Social influence
    • Social media
    • We-intention


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