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The Impact of Boundary-Blurring Social Networking Sites: Self-Presentation, Impression Formation, and Publicness

Pike, Jacqueline C. (2011) The Impact of Boundary-Blurring Social Networking Sites: Self-Presentation, Impression Formation, and Publicness. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Individuals have more opportunities than ever before to present themselves in public using social networking sites (SNSs). These sites allow users to make self-presentations by creating online profiles, containing text, photos, or videos, about themselves and their activities. While individual users generate these presentations, millions of individuals can potentially access them over many years. From the perspective of organizations developing these SNSs, the more people, the broader range of people, and the greater interaction among the people that use them, the more sustainable it is. However, individuals tend to live segmented lives and often develop different self-presentations depending on the audience. Maintaining one or multiple presentations is possible offline as long as the audiences are separate and little opportunity for interaction exists. Online, tension can form between boundary-blurring expansion and boundary-preserving development of SNSs. This dissertation seeks to develop better understanding of how boundaries blurred by SNSs affect impressions formed of job candidates. To examine the issue, two studies were conducted, one exploratory qualitative and one experimental. The first study investigates whether, how, and why SNSs are accessed to obtain information about candidates. The second study develops and tests a model of how characteristics of the SNS environment affect impression formation and subsequent hiring decisions. Both studies found that SNSs can have both benefits and detriments for the job candidate by influencing the impression formed by a professional.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pike, Jacqueline
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairButler, Brian
Committee MemberGalletta, Dennisgalletta@katz.pitt.eduGALLETTA
Committee MemberLevine, John M.jml@pitt.eduJML
Committee MemberDaniel, Sherae L.sldaniel@katz.pitt.eduSLD54
Committee MemberSawyer, Steven
Date: 22 September 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 April 2011
Approval Date: 22 September 2011
Submission Date: 18 June 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: hiring; impression formation; internet; job market; self-presentation; social networking
Other ID:, etd-06182011-002223
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:48
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44


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