The tie effect on information dissemination: The spread of a commercial rumor in Hong Kong

Gina W F LAI*, Odalia M H WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability to acquire information has been considered a crucial factor facilitating instrumental actions, such as job search and organizational innovation. Previous social network studies tend to treat the characteristics of social ties through which information is acquired as causes that may affect instrumental outcomes. However, little research has directly examined the spread of information via social ties and the tie effect on information dissemination. Using telephone survey data collected after the outbreak of an extensive commercial rumor in Hong Kong, the present paper investigates the characteristics of social ties through which the information is spread and the tie effect on information dissemination. Results show that while mass media, particularly television, services as a major channel of information flow, social ties are also widely used. Individuals tend to share information with strong ties, or people with whom they perceive to have good relations. However, information transmitted via kin ties tends to arrive at the respondent faster than via nonkin ties or other communication channels. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-75
Number of pages27
JournalSocial Networks
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Commercial rumor
  • Information dissemination
  • Tie effect

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