Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda

Bolton, Ruth N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, Ankie, Migchels, Nanne, Kabadayi, Sertan, Gruber, Thorsten, Loureiro, Yuliya Komarova and Solnet, David (2013) Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24 3: 245-267. doi:10.1108/09564231311326987

Author Bolton, Ruth N.
Parasuraman, A.
Hoefnagels, Ankie
Migchels, Nanne
Kabadayi, Sertan
Gruber, Thorsten
Loureiro, Yuliya Komarova
Solnet, David
Title Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda
Journal name Journal of Service Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1757-5818
Publication date 2013-06-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1108/09564231311326987
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 24
Issue 3
Start page 245
End page 267
Total pages 23
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review what we know – and don't know – about Generation Y's use of social media and to assess the implications for individuals, firms and society.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper distinguishes Generation Y from other cohorts in terms of systematic differences in values, preferences and behavior that are stable over time (as opposed to maturational or other differences). It describes their social media use and highlights evidence of intra-generational variance arising from environmental factors (including economic, cultural, technological and political/legal factors) and individual factors. Individual factors include stable factors (including socio-economic status, age and lifecycle stage) and dynamic, endogenous factors (including goals, emotions, and social norms).The paper discusses how Generation Y's use of social media influences individuals, firms and society. It develops managerial implications and a research agenda.

Findings – Prior research on the social media use of Generation Y raises more questions than it answers. It: focuses primarily on the USA and/or (at most) one other country, ignoring other regions with large and fast-growing Generation Y populations where social-media use and its determinants may differ significantly; tends to study students whose behaviors may change over their life cycle stages; relies on self-reports by different age groups to infer Generation Y's social media use; and does not examine the drivers and outcomes of social-media use. This paper's conceptual framework yields a detailed set of research questions.

Originality/value – This paper provides a conceptual framework for considering the antecedents and consequences of Generation Y's social media usage. It identifies unanswered questions about Generation Y's use of social media, as well as practical insights for managers.
Keyword Generation Y
Social media
Media use
Dark side
Digital media
Social networking sites
Social norms
Social stratification
Problematic internet use
Facebook use
Networking sites
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 174 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 216 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 21 Jul 2013, 10:12:46 EST by System User on behalf of School of Tourism