People’s Motivation to Participate in Social Network Sites, Subsequent Behaviours, and Situation Self-Awareness following a Crisis: Evidence from the MH370 Flight Incident

Xuequn Wang


As people increasingly integrate social network sites (SNSs) into their daily lives, they also turn to these sites for timely information following crises. To date, few studies have examined the effects of different types of motivation on participatory behaviours within SNSs following crises. In this study, self-determination theory (SDT) is applied to examine how individuals are motivated to participate in SNSs following a crisis and how individuals’ participatory behaviours can better assist them understand a crisis. The Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) incident is selected as the context for this study, and data is collected following the incident. The results show that different types of motivation result in different participatory behaviours. Controlled motivation is positively related to browsing content, commenting and sharing content. Conversely, autonomous motivation is positively associated with browsing and sharing content. Besides, browsing content and commenting are positively related to people’s situational self-awareness. The theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed.


social network sites; participating behaviours; motivation; situational self-awareness; crisis; MH370

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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