Monash University

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Impact of social network technology on university students' dynamic capabilities and creative performance in Malaysia

posted on 2017-02-24, 00:20 authored by Liew , Jie Ying
Social network technology (SNT) such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and cloud computing services offers a cost-effective platform for students to access the ‘global-network brain’ and to develop dynamic capabilities that foster creativity and innovation. However, very few studies have explored this relationship in the developing world. This thesis examines the relationship between dynamic capabilities and creative performance among university students in Malaysia, a developing country with high usage of SNT and aspiration to become an innovation-driven economy. For Malaysia to move up the global innovation value chain, there needs a major transformation in the education system to nurture students’ creativity that empowers the next-generation innovative endeavors. Using key theories from creativity and knowledge management, this thesis develops an integrative theoretical framework to explore key internal dispositional traits (core self-evaluation (CSE) and intrinsic motivation (IM)) and external situational factors (facilitating conditions (FC) and social capital (SC)) as antecedents to dynamic capabilities (DC) and creative performance (CP). This thesis also examines the mediating role of SNT, namely the utilitarian use (UU) and hedonic use (HU) of SNT, on the relationship between DC and CP. Finally, the integrated research model assesses the impact of UU, HU, and CP on students’ actual benefits (AB) in terms of academic performance, social interaction, economic and entrepreneurial development. A multivariate analysis using partial least square technique (PLS-SEM) was conducted on a sample of 483 public and private university students in Malaysia. The empirical results show that FC indirectly impacts DC and CP while SC and CSE directly impact DC but indirectly influence CP. IM shows significant direct impact on both DC and CP. DC has a positive direct impact on CP. In particular, the use of SNT plays a significant partial mediating role on the relationship between DC and CP. UU is found to have positively influenced CP and contributed to AB whereas HU shows adverse impact on CP and does not contribute to AB. Interestingly, HU positively links to UU, which renders UU a ‘contextual mediator’ between HU and CP. The empirical results provide valuable insights on SNT-driven education policies and strategies that will enhance students’ creative performance and overall quality of their academic life in higher education.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Santha Vaithilingam

Additional supervisor 1

Mahendhiran Nair

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Business and Economics (Monash University Malaysia)

Additional Institution or Organisation



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics