Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Communication and Information

Major Professor

Margaret Morrison

Committee Members

Sally McMillan, Daniel Haygood

Abstract

This study is a partial replication of Fong and Burton’s 2008 study. Fong and Burton (2008) conducted a cross-cultural study comparing Chinese and US Internet users in terms of willingness to engage in information-seeking and information-giving, utilizing Hofstede’s (1980; 1991) individualistic/collectivistic cultural dimension.

The current study examines cross-cultural differences in the use of UGC between US and Korean consumers by conducting a content analysis of the discussion boards of six digital camera review sites based in the US and Korea. It content-analyzes 1871 online postings on discussion boards of US-based and Korea-based product review sites.

The study adopts Hofstede’s (1980; 1991) individualistic/collectivistic dimension and Hall’s (1981; 1990) cultural contexts (high-context & low-context cultures) as cultural dimensions, and found some cross-cultural differences and similarities between US and Korean Internet users by examining four hypotheses concerning US and Korean Internet users’ willingness to engage in information-seeking, willingness to engage in information-giving, tendency to use implicit communication styles, and tendency to use explicit communication styles.

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