The antecedents of changing Facebook content for employment : an application of the theory of reasoned action
Smith, Lindsey L.
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Facebook has become a focus of academic research. To date, though, little is known about Facebook behavior and how it relates to finding and securing a job based on the content individuals reveal on their profile. Thus, this exploratory study examined whether or not university seniors who are about to graduate and university alumni who have recently graduated are changing, or have changed, their Facebook profile content for the specific purpose of being perceived as employable due to concerns over monitoring by potential employers. Guided under the framework of the theory of reasoned action, one of the main goals of this study was to investigate how attitudes and subjective norms predict behavioral intention and actual behavior to change Facebook profile information. Through an online questionnaire, the study surveyed 57 undergraduate seniors and 38 undergraduate alumni from the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication at Colorado State University during the spring semester of 2010. Analysis revealed that for seniors, there were strong, significant relationships among attitudes, subjective norms, and behavioral intent with respect to changing their Facebook profile content. Furthermore, it was found that attitude was the most significant predictor of seniors changing their profile information. On the other hand, for alumni, analysis did not reveal significant relationships among attitude, subjective norms, and actual behavior. Analysis also indicated that there were no significant variables to predict actual behavior. Finally, through this study it was concluded that the theory of reasoned action does a better job of predicting intent than actual behavior.