External pressure or internal culture? An innovation diffusion theory account of small retail businesses’ social media use

Wi Suk Kwon, Hongjoo Woo, Amrut Sadachar, Xiao Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 put unprecedented external pressure on small businesses to adopt or increase use of social media while not all small businesses are internally ready for this rapid change. This study investigated the roles of external pressures and organizational culture of openness and learning in driving small retail business owners'/managers' social media use decisions by impacting their perceived usefulness and barriers, based on the innovation-decision process model from the diffusion of innovations theory and the theory of reasoned action. An online survey with structured measurements was administered to 411 U.S. small retail business owners/managers. Results from structural equation modeling revealed that external pressures positively influenced small business owners'/managers’ perceived usefulness and barriers and social media use intention. In addition, the culture of openness and learning positively influenced the perceived usefulness while mitigating the perceived barriers, thereby directly and indirectly influencing the social media use intention. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102616
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Yonsei University Research Fund of 2019–2020 (2019-22-0018/2020-22-0100) and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and the Hatch program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture . The preliminary result of this study was presented at the 2020 International Textiles and Apparel Association Annual Conference (“External and internal drivers of small retail businesses' social media use: An innovation diffusion theory perspective”).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


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