TAMIU Doctoral Students Gets Top Award for Social Networking Paper
Posted: 2/23/12

TAMIU Doctoral Student’s Paper on
Social Networking Gets Top Recognition

A Texas A&M International University doctoral student has won top recognition for a paper he wrote on social networking by employees.

Murad Moqbel, a doctoral candidate in International Business and Management Information Systems at TAMIU’s A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business, recently won the Decision Science Institute Southwest Region’s “2012 Best Student Paper Award” recognition for his paper entitled, “Explaining User Acceptance Of Social Networking: Employees’ Perspective.”

Moqbel will travel to the DSI Southwest Region’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans Feb. 29 – March 3 to receive his award recognition.

Murad Moqbel, Bill Gruben
Murad Moqbel, left, and Dr. Bill Gruben, right.

“ I was not expecting to win, honestly,” Moqbel said of his recognition, “I didn’t send my paper for the purpose of winning, but for professional networking, as I am about to graduate and will be looking for possible job placement opportunities. When I submitted the paper, I surprisingly won.”

Using the technology acceptance model (TAM), which measures the intentions of the user of a particular information system, Moqbel surveyed 193 employees from Laredo and different states in the United States.

His objective was to determine which of the three variables – perceived enjoyment, perceived ease of use or perceived usefulness – figured most prominently in employees’ acceptance when utilizing social networking.

“The results show that employees use social networking sites mainly because they believe that social networking sites provide them with fun and enjoyment and secondarily because social networking sites are easy to use,” Moqbel states in his study.

Moqbel’s study further states that perceived enjoyment was the main construct responsible for the explanation of the behavioral intention to use social networking sites by employees, while perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness lost their predictive power to perceived enjoyment.

He said one of the implications of his research is that it is important for system developers to include some aspects of fun and enjoyment in systems they build in order to increase the system’s acceptance by employees.

“In addition to this implication, it is pivotal that system developers pay much attention to the ease of use when it comes to hedonic types of information systems because this feature helps increase the likelihood of user acceptance,” Moqbel’s study states.

While several studies have been conducted on social networking, Moqbel said his adds a new dimension to existing literature because it touches on the subject of user acceptance of social networking by employees.

Moqbel, who upon graduation will be searching for university faculty positions, said he hopes his study shows his future employers that he is ready for research responsibilities.

“This provides evidence that I’m ready for a research endeavor because in my future as a professor, there are three requirements. One is teaching, the second is research and third is service,” he said, “In terms of research, this Award helps me by indicating that I already have the foundations for research to excel in future applications as well.”

Moqbel thanked Dr. Ned Kock, his faculty advisor and professor of management information systems, Dr. Bill Gruben, Ph.D. program in International Business Administration director, and all those who helped him prepare for the paper.

“I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Ned Kock in particular and all professors in general who have prepared me reach this level. Many thanks to Dr. Gruben, the school of business, and all departments which helped me with the data collection,” Moqbel said.

For more information about Moqbel’s study, please contact Dr. Bill Gruben, Ph.D. program in International Business Administration director, at 326.2512, e-mail william.gruben@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 219C.

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu