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Ways of Generation Y's Use of Social Media Influence on Individuals, Firms, and Society

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1. Analyzing the business decision or problem.

Generation Y or the Millennial Generation exerts a peculiar fascination on both managers and academics. In what has become common parlance, members of Generation Y are called Digital Natives, rather than Digital Immigrants. They are the first generation to have spent their entire lives in the digital environment; information technology profoundly affects how they live and work. Generation Y actively contributes, shares, searches for, and consumes content – plus works and plays – on social media platforms. Service managers and researchers are interested in Generation Y’s social media usage because it may be a harbinger of how people will behave in the future. In the popular press, articles about Generation Y have typically focused on the social media usage patterns of young people of relatively high socio-economic status who live in developed countries where there is relatively unfettered access to information technology and social media platforms. Yet, it is self-evident that (for example) Generation Y’s social media usage in the USA is very different from South Korea due to differences in culture and technological infrastructure – and that rich people use social media in different ways than poor people. This definition allows us to examine differences in social media usage across diverse members of Generation Y living in different contexts. The research provides a conceptual framework for considering the antecedents and consequences of Generation Y’s social media usage. The research discusses how Generation Y’s use of social media influences individuals, firms, and society. It develops managerial implications and a research agenda. There is some evidence of negative long-term consequences for society arising from Gen Y’s social media use, such as a deterioration of civic engagement, a loss of privacy and public safety, and an increase in cybercrime

1. The overall research design – Evaluating options.

In this section, it will be added because it is important information regarding the research question that has been mentioned before. A structured self-administered questionnaire was utilized to acquire the considerable amount of data that was required for the study in an efficient way. Respondents for this research study were first required to answer two screening questions before they were permitted to participate in the survey

Questionnaire items were developed based on existing theoretical constructs and literature in the areas of social media use. The population born between 1980-2000 is defined as Gen Y employees. The five-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree) was used as the measurement method. The questionnaire consists of five sections namely; the first section is the brief introduction and instructions along with the purpose of research and assurance of establishing the anonymity of responses. The second includes the statements dealing with basic information of the respondents namely gender, years of experience, and age group, the third section includes the statements on social media use. The fourth section includes the statements on HR practices, the last section includes the statements on engagement, and the last one is Social media- Based on the extant social media literature a questionnaire is developed, as no suitable measure for social media existed. Based on this study, a questionnaire consisting of 5 items was developed. Each item is a 5-point Likert type statement anchored at extreme poles ranging from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’.

The research design is descriptive in nature and utilizes the survey method for this study. Descriptive research is used to describe the problem that is researched, as well as variables such as the attitudes of individuals towards an object (that is, Generation Y’s cognitive attitudes towards social media influences individuals, firms, and society) and their demographics by taking a cross-sectional segment of the target population to determine the frequency with which something occurs and/or the relationship between two variables. This type of research is typically conducted when knowledge of the study object is vague or unclear—little is known about cognitive attitudes toward social media influences individuals, firms, and society. The survey method would be preferable for this investigation owing to the nature of the research problem and the viability of market information. Therefore, self-administered questionnaires were disseminated on a face-to-face basis to gather data for this research study. Regarding the interview questions, for each stage of the decision-making process, various key questions were asked. In the pre-trip stage, three main questions were designed. The first one is “Imagine that you decide to go on a leisure trip somewhere. What are the very first steps you undertake in planning your vacation?” Hereby the interviewer intended to give the respondents the freedom to think about how they prepared their last trip or what options of information search they usually would use for planning their journey (e.g., ask family and friends for advice, visit travel agencies or online platforms). The second question is “What criteria do you use to decide on which hotel suits best for you?”. The aim is not only to find out about the principles an accommodation needs to achieve in the respondents’ opinion but also to examine how they differentiate between the massive offer of hotels and where they extract the information from. Another essential question in the pre-trip stage is “Do you read online reviews? If yes, how do they influence your final booking decision?” As already indicated in section 2, review sites tend to become increasingly popular and used. Thus, the interest lies in finding out whether this is also the case specifically for Generation Y-ers or whether they only use it as a further information tool with limited influence.

As already notified, a qualitative research approach has been adopted since it is intended to being able to “understand the contexts or settings in which participants in a study address a problem or issue”. Hereby, it is aimed to make use of a theory in order to explain the existing problem. For this study, the grounded theory method (GTM) was utilized. Corbin and Strauss (2014) state, that this approach gives researchers the opportunity “to examine topics and related behaviors from many different angles- thus developing comprehensive explanations.” Furthermore Corbin & Strauss acknowledge that hidden meanings can be identified, through the application of the grounded theory. By analyzing the respective interviews, it was furthermore intended to identify the sequence and information sources used before, during, and after the trips undertaken by the Millennials.

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2. What are the key variables and how will you measure them?

Applying the information that has been discussed in the previous segment it is clear of conclusion that will be built up to analyze and organize the variables which have been classified. The Research 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).

Prior research on the social media use of Generation Y raises more questions than it answers. It (a) focuses primarily on the United States and/or (at most) one other country, ignoring other regions with large and fast-growing Gen Y populations where social-media use and its determinants may differ significantly; (b) tends to study students whose behaviors may change over their life cycle stages; (c) relies on self-reports by different age groups to infer GenY’s social media use; and (d) does not examine the drivers and outcomes of social-media use. Our conceptual framework yields a detailed set of research questions. In social media, Social Media Exposure measurement is about as reliable as a print magazine’s circulation, but knowing your potential audience does have value because it represents your potential sales lead pool. Measuring Engagement in Social Media is one of the most important measurements because it shows how many people actually cared enough about what you had to say to result in some kind of action. The measuring influence category gets into a bit of soft space for measurement. Influence is a subjective metric that relies on your company’s perspective for definition. Basically, you want to look at whether the engagement metrics listed above are positive, neutral, or negative in sentiment.

Furthermore, the variables that have been analyzed through the research procedure can be measured by interviews, online surveys, and phone surveys. As we provide the interviews, the key point that has been mentioned regarding the relationship between each variable will be have further research in the interview and groups section rather than creating new variables.

3. Sample requirements and sampling options.

In the previous section, it has been mentioned that it will apply the mixed method such as primary data, interviews will also be used in the research. By having interviews as part of the method, the data collected will be more accurate and specific because it is mostly from the people’s experiences from a different view. In addition, there are two types of survey data which are open-ended and closed-ended. In this case, one of the research appliances that will be used in the interview is one to one interview and group interview towards the employees in order to create a more accurate answer for the research question. A number of studies have identified Generation Y as the main users of online digital and online technological gadgets and innovations such as SNS and mobile applications and, consequently, a target market for online marketers. Furthermore, several studies have revealed that students are the primary users of SNS, and are hence exposed to advertising on SNS such as Facebook. However, Jordaan et al. believed that it was important to draw a more representative sample of Generation Y, other than solely selecting students to participate in the study. Therefore, the research population comprised of young working adults, young adults who had completed school, but were still seeking employment (nearly one in three people in the country are unemployed, with up to half of Generation Y for certain age categories within this cohort) , as well as students, to ensure adequate representation of Generation Y that had used Facebook and had perceived advertising on this SNS. The sample frame included Generation Y members who reside in the Western Cape and account for 11.25 % of the country’s population. The research utilized a multi-phase sampling technique, which also is referred to as double sampling or sequential sampling. Firstly, the Cape Peninsula was divided into different geographic locations (clusters), which included both rural and urban, as well as suburban (typically more affluent areas) and townships (including informal settlements) areas, by using a regional map. Secondly, businesses, tertiary education institutions, and community organizations (churches, sports clubs, and youth groups) were identified by means of a telephone directory and were randomly selected. Thereafter, these organizations were contacted telephonically to obtain approval to conduct the survey on their premises and to establish that there was a sufficient number of the Generation Y cohort to interview (mainly in terms of businesses, since the other aforementioned organizations were well represented by the Generation Y owing to their inherent nature). Thirdly, systematic sampling was utilized to survey respondents in the abovementioned organizations, and every third respondent was invited to voluntarily participate in the study.

4. Ethical issues

In this section, collecting data from the interview will affect the researchers to ask questions that may be personal, and it is important for the researcher to have a conclusion that supports the difficulty of selecting samples for the participants. The first ethical issue is its relatively small sample size and cross-sectional nature. Hence, further research is needed to confirm our suggested relationships, as self-reported surveys are poor to establish cause-effect relationships. The research however confirmed the significance of social media in the context of employee engagement in the Gen Y cohort. Importantly, even with a modest small size, the study is pertinent enough to serve as a stepping stone for future work. It is better to replicate this study in public sector organizations or in other industries such as retail, pharmaceutical, or in the manufacturing sector, maybe in a different country. Also, a comparative analysis could be undertaken involving Gen X and Gen Y employees to further confirm the research model. As quantitative research design has its obvious limitations so future studies should employ qualitative methods like focus interviews to further examine the results of this study. Further, it may not be a complete investigation of the impact of social media on engagement as the management perspective is not examined. Therefore, future research should interview both HR managers and Gen Y employees on their perception of the impact of social media on employee engagement. Further, this study will pave the way for future research work in this domain and will utilize longitudinal data. An important issue arises because employees and customers will originate from multiple generations and (hence) be heterogeneous in terms of social media use and related preferences and values. In addition, it is also to maintain the ethical frame for how Gen Y’s use of social media influences individuals, firms, and society. The sampling method is used to collect information and data about the performance in the firm is the survey. Besides, there are some ethical issues regarding with different research methods and style; it can be also some problems with informed approval. The risk in the data sampling can be not enough information to the survey respondents. Therefore, the data that have been gathered might be being used and distributed to a third party can become an unethical gathering of information. Furthermore, the research that being collected must be valid, reliable, and useful, however, this research might become a burden since the respondents know that it is being recorded so that they might change the way they answer and their behavior. In order to avoid this case, the make an option that the respondents can fill up the survey or we can also explain to them what this data collection is about, what for it is and how it is going to be used in the future. Moreover, we can also ask them to tick the survey whether they understand about it or not. Since the data needs to be valid, the aim of the question also needs to be clear. Furthermore, if asking unethical questions to the respondents, it can affect their impression and they might not want to do the survey.


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Ways of Generation Y’s Use of Social Media Influence on Individuals, Firms, and Society. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from
“Ways of Generation Y’s Use of Social Media Influence on Individuals, Firms, and Society.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
Ways of Generation Y’s Use of Social Media Influence on Individuals, Firms, and Society. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2022].
Ways of Generation Y’s Use of Social Media Influence on Individuals, Firms, and Society [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2022 Dec 8]. Available from:
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