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LinkedIn Usage and Social Capital – An Online Survey

In order to bridge the gap in the understanding of social network sites (SNS) for professionals, the thesis elaborates on the usage and effects of the largest business network – LinkedIn. The study is mainly focused on analyzing the relationship between the intensity of LinkedIn usage and individuals’ bridging social capital (online and offline). The motives for using the business network are further key research aspect. The work also explores the effects of individuals’ age on the usage of LinkedIn.

The research approach provides theoretical knowledge from current academia and research as well as delivers practical insights by conducting an online survey. 131 LinkedIn users took part in it.

The findings of the survey demonstrate that in comparison to other social network sites, LinkedIn is not used very intensively. Survey respondents report to use LinkedIn mainly for information seeking and maintaining of existing relations. The results of the survey show that there is a positive relationship between the usage of LinkedIn and individuals offline bridging social capital. Unfortunately, the study shows that the usage of LinkedIn is not a predictor of online bridging capital. Finally, the outcomes of the regression analysis indicate that individuals’ age does not influence the usage of LinkedIn and bridging online and offline social capital.Die Arbeit ist in englischer Sprache verfasst worden.