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Vol. 5. Issue 3.
Pages 191-199 (July - September 2020)
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Vol. 5. Issue 3.
Pages 191-199 (July - September 2020)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jik.2019.08.004
Open Access
The impact of social capital and social interaction on customers’ purchase intention, considering knowledge sharing in social commerce context
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Alireza Ghahtarania,
Corresponding author
alighahtaran@gmail.com

Corresponding author at: Tehran Province, Tehran, Al Ahmad Street, No. 7, Iran.
, Majid Sheikhmohammadya, Mahdieh Rostamib
a Faculty of Industrial and systems Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
b Faculty of Marketing, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan Branch, Iran
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Table 1. Variables measurment.
Table 2. Reliability of variables.
Table 3. Correlations and discriminant validity.
Table 4. Model estimates.
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Abstract

In this research, we identify factors influencing the behavior of knowledge sharing and customer purchasing intention based on two theories of social capital and social interaction. The conceptual model, designed based on theoretical foundations, includes the dimensions of these two theories. Moreover, knowledge/information sharing is considered as a moderate variable and is attempted to examine the relationship between these variables and customers’ purchase intention in the context of social commerce. Statistical sample is 254 individuals, who have bought more than 5 times from social commerce sites. The results show that the dimensions of social capital theory and social interaction theory have a significant relationship with knowledge/information sharing. Additionally, “knowledge/information sharing” has a mediating role in the proposed model.

Keywords:
Customers’ purchasing intention
Knowledge sharing behavior
Social capital
Social commerce
Social interaction theory
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Introduction

Social commerce sites are popular places for customers to exchange and express ideas about products and services (Liang & Turban, 2011). In such sites, users share their favorite products and opinions and engage with other users. Social commerce sites are extremely popular, and this popularity is the result of the nature of social commerce (Zhou, Zhang, & Zimmermann, 2013). Since its emergence, e-commerce has steadily evolved with the advent of new hardware and software technologies, and newer versions of it, such as mobile commerce and networked commerce (Zhang & Wang, 2012). The most important thing that has arisen since the development of social networks in the world is the subject of social networking, which is briefly called social commerce (Liu, Cheung, & Lee, 2016). One of the most important dimensions of social commerce development is the desire of customers to share knowledge and information (Jiang, Ma, Shang, & Chau, 2014). The more users are inclined to share information, the greater the social commerce’s growth, therefore, investigating the customer interest is important.

Increasing the willingness of customers to social commerce sites is heavily influenced by the sharing of information and knowledge in this space (Liu et al., 2016). The more information is shared, the more interactions and exchanges, and social commerce sites will boom (Robert, Dennis, & Ahuja, 2008). On the other hand, the lack of knowledge sharing leads to a lack of prosperity and the disappearance of the Social commerce platform. Consequently, for companies that work in social commerce field, it is crucial to explore information sharing factors. One of the most important dimensions that can affect the sharing of information is social capital (Robert et al., 2008).

Social capital is the best source created through exchanges. This type of source is related to different types of relationships, which includes interpersonal relationships and organizational networks (Lin, 2017). Social capital was initially used in research in relation to community relationships. Social capital has been proven to be the best aggregate of resources gathered and created in daily relationships and interactions between individuals and families (Aldrich & Meyer, 2015). The nature of existing social capital in the structure of relations between individuals is the most important factor in the implementation of this concept in social phenomena. The theory of social capital illustrates and clarifies social resources that can bring together certain elements in the social network. In addition, social capital is an aggregate source that can create value. Social capital not only can bring about a common understanding among individuals, but also can force people to achieve common goals (Kwon and Adler, 2014). Therefore, social capital represents a set of integrated resources for social and economic activities. For social structure, social capital can put together members based on the characteristics of individuals in the social network. Social capital can also facilitate the activities of higher-performing individuals in order to participate in earning economic resources to achieve common goals (Hung, Lin, & Chen, 2013). Researchers have shown that social capital has three dimensions. They are called structural, relational and cognitive. Structural capital represents the pattern of general communication between individuals (Castro & Roldán, 2013). This dimension reflects the position of users in the social system and identifies the ability of users to access resources. Meanwhile, a concept is defined as "social nodes" that indicates the degree of connection and availability of members with the friends’ list in the network. Social nodes reflect the structure and quality of the relationship in the social network. Relational capital describes the level of trust among members in communications. This factor reflects the nature of the work with other members and the quality of personal relationships. The cognitive dimension refers to the resources that promote the perception of the individual-individual and the individual-system (Zhao, Tang, Liu, & Liu, 2016)

The next factor that appears to affect the sharing of knowledge and information is the Social Exchange Theory, or SET, in short. The theory of social exchange (social interaction theory) is essentially defined as the exchange of a valuable source in which it is expected to be beneficial between the two sides (Razak, Pangil, Zin, Yunus, & Asnawi, 2016). This theory is a practice to maximize benefits and reduce costs that are effective in individual actions (Blau, 1964). According to the pre-SET, this is a theory that depicts the rational behavior of an individual in order to understand the possibilities of rewards that come from social exchanges (Cropanzano, Anthony, Daniels, & Hall, 2017). A person must have his own perception of another and have ideas in order to create the needs of others. More recently, Cyr and Wei Choo (2010) surveyed the key concepts of SET and found that SET depends on individual beliefs to share and orientate individual social value. This refers to the individual preferences (mental attitudes or norms) related to the distribution of results for themselves and others in the status of the subscription. In other words, SET takes into account the maximization of benefits and reduces the costs incurred when someone interacts with one another.

Based on the literature review of the past research, scholars have focused on social capital theory as a unique concept which can effect on purchasing intention. For more detail, we refer to (Han & Lee, 2016; Huang, Kim, & Kim, 2013; Kim, Kang, & Lee, 2018; Kim, Lee, & Bonn, 2016; Lee, 2017; Lu, Fan, & Zhou, 2016; Wenming, Xu, & Chang, 2014). By the development of social commerce concept, the importance of knowledge sharing has emerged. Social commerce concept is based on network communication and in this communication people share their knowledge and information, which come from their experience. Researches on social commerce have been expanded rapidly these years. We refer to these researches as examples (Gibreel, AlOtaibi, & Altmann, 2018; Kim & Kim, 2018; Lin, Li, Yan, & Turel, 2018; Tajvidi, Richard, Wang, & Hajli, 2018; Wang & Herrando, 2019; Wang, Tajvidi, Lin, & Hajli, 2019; Yahia, Al-Neama, & Kerbache, 2018). Moreover, social interaction theory in e-commerce and social commerce context is another hop spot of research due to the lack of practical and theoretical researches on this concept. Thus, the theory of social interactions is used in our proposed model. The dimensions of social interactions are used for analyzing knowledge and information sharing behavior. Hence, considering the dimension of social interactions theory in social commerce context is another innovation, which in the past literature review has not been considered. This research fills these gaps. We try to investigate the reasons for customer preferences in the field of knowledge sharing and their willingness to use social commerce sites. For this purpose, in this research, two social capital theory and social interaction theory have been used. Also, sharing knowledge and information are considered as a mediating variable. Finally, the relationship between these variables and customer purchase intention is examined. Based on the authors’ knowledge, there are very few researches which focus on social capital, knowledge sharing, social interaction theory and purchase intention simultaneously.

This research has focused on social commerce site in Iran. The most famous social commerce sites in Iran are Digikala, Sheypoor, and Divar. These sites cover all kind of products and services. Launched in Feb. 2007, Digikala is a fast-growing market leader in e-commerce in Iran which is now the most visited online store in the Middle East. Divar is the leading classified ads platform in Iran. Sheypoor is another social commerce site, which is the third most visited social commerce site in Iran. This research chose these three platforms because they are the best social commerce site based on Alexa statistic. Moreover, more than 76 percent of all Iranian people who use social commerce site visit these three sites. Consequently, users of these three sites can show us a proper image of intention and behavior of people in social commerce platforms in Iran.

These sites are a social network that not only dose people share their knowledge, information and experience, but also they can purchase products and services. Various products are traded in these social commerce sites. Moreover, each person who uses these platforms is a potential buyer.

The structure of this research is as follows: in the second part of the research theoretical, theoretical framework and the hypotheses are presented. In this section, the theories and variables used in the research are also introduced. In the third section, the research method used in this paper is presented. The fourth section is the results of the analysis and testing of the hypotheses. In the fifth part, the discussions of the research hypotheses are presented and in the final section of this paper, the managerial implications of this research are presented.

Theoretical framework

The theoretical underpinnings discussed here include the relationship between social capital dimensions and information sharing. Additionally, the relationship between dimensions of social interaction theory and information sharing is discussed. The impact of the information and knowledge sharing on the purchase intention are among the theoretical background of this paper.

Relationship between social capital and information sharing

Social capital, in general, includes institutions, relationships, tendencies, values, and norms that govern the behaviors and interactions between individuals. Social capital consists of three dimensions: structural capital, cognitive capital, and relational capital (Huysman & Wulf, 2004)

The structural dimension of social capital refers to the general pattern of contacts between individuals, that is, who you have access to and how. The most important aspects of this dimension are the existence or absence of network relations between individuals, the configuration or network structure and the appropriate organization, which describes the pattern of relationships in terms of scale, density, linkage, and hierarchy. And the appropriate organization means the existence of networks created for a purpose that may be used for another purpose (Figures 1–3,).

Fig. 1.

Research model.

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Fig. 2.

Coefficient of structural model.

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Fig. 3.

T statistic of structural model.

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The cognitive dimension of social capital refers to those sources that provide manifestations, interpretations, and systems of common meanings among groups. This dimension has been identified because they believe that cognitive dimension not only does indicate an important set of assets that have not yet been addressed in the mainstream of social capital, but also in the context of a strategy, its importance has been widely noted.

The relationship index of social capital describes a kind of personal relationship that individuals make with each other because of the history of their interactions. This concept focuses on the particular relationships that individuals have, such as respect for friendship, which affects their behavior. It’s because of these personal relationships that social motives such as warmth, approval, and honesty come to existence. For example, two people may have the same posts in similar network configurations, but if their emotional and personal attachments are different from other network members, their actions may also have to be different from significant aspects. Although a person may choose to stay in an organization as an attachment to colleagues, in spite of the economic benefits elsewhere, someone else may not care about working relationships without taking into account these personal clauses. The relational dimension of social capital refers to the assets created and applied through relationships.

According to social capital theory, people willingness to sharing information and knowledge is influenced by social capital (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998). When social interactions are friendly, people tend to share their knowledge and information. As it is mentioned above, the social capital theory has three dimensions. These three dimensions are key factors in knowledge and information sharing. Previous studies in knowledge sharing concept show that the social capital is a crucial factor in knowledge sharing behavior of individuals (He, Qiao, & Wei, 2009; Inkpen & Tsang, 2005; Wasko & Faraj, 2005; Wei, Zheng, & Zhang, 2011).

Phua, Jin, and Kim, (2017) used gratifications theory and social capital theory to analyze social capital of users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Zhang, Liu, Chen, and Gong (2017) investigated the effect of social capital, motivations, and knowledge sharing intention in health Q&A communities. They showed that the social capital had an impact on knowledge sharing intention. Chung, Nam, and Koo (2016) examined the information sharing in social networking communities. They showed that information sharing is influenced by social capital. Lee, Park, and Lee (2015a) showed the relationship between team social capital with knowledge and communication in information systems development projects. Their results illustrated that communication effectiveness increases the level of social ties and shared vision. Akhavan and Mahdi Hosseini (2016) investigated the relationship between Social capital, knowledge sharing, and innovation capability. They showed that structural capital and relational capital are related to knowledge sharing behaviors. Lee, Park, and Lee (2015b) explained knowledge sharing with social capital theory in information systems development projects. Their results show that team social capital appears to have a stronger influence on knowledge sharing.

Social interactions are necessary for knowledge and information sharing. The process of knowledge and information sharing requires extensive social interaction among users in social Media. Social capital can facilitate social interactions of users hence it is believed that dimensions of social capital have influenced knowledge and information sharing. Consequently, based on this theoretical background following hypothesis are generated:H1

Structural capital positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

H2

Cognitive capital positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

H3

Relational capital positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

Relationship between social interactions theory and information sharing

Social interaction theory was first presented in 1964 by Blau and generally seeks to explore the basis of individuals' behavior in sharing knowledge. Based on this theory, the interactions of individuals with each other are based on the personal cost and benefit analysis. In fact, based on this theory, individuals seek to maximize their profits and minimize the time cost of exchanging resources (Razak et al., 2016)

As stated, individuals are seeking more profits in their interactions, which do not necessarily have any tangible benefits, as people involved may interact with expectations. According to this theory, individuals may seek to establish a social relationship in order to obtain more benefits, in which they can share information in this social relationship (Razak et al., 2016)

What this article is trying to address is that today, with the advancement of technology, the social interaction and social relationships are rapidly expanding in cyberspace. In fact, technology has created a platform for these interactions to take place increasingly in cyberspace.

Social interactions theory has three dimensions; Interpersonal Interactions, Trust, and Perceived Profit.

Interactions in the theory of interpersonal interactions refer to the activities of individuals in binary communications. Interactions between individuals are actually channels for the flow of information and resources. As more people engage in these interactions, the intensity and sequence of the flow of information become greater. Therefore, in addition to individual indicators, interpersonal interactions are one of the main dimensions in the sharing of information and knowledge. Interpersonal interactions have two dimensions which include trust and social interactions. Social interactions represent the power of relationships, time spent, and the sequence of communication between members. Social interactions can create conditions in which the combination and sharing of information and knowledge can be created (Razak et al., 2016). Interpersonal interactions refer to the activities of individuals in binary communications. This is a channel for the flow of information that can improve knowledge of people about products and services thus we believe that this dimension can have an impact on knowledge/information sharing behaviors of users.H4

Interpersonal Interactions positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

The next factor is trust, which refers to a set of specific beliefs that mainly relate to the integrity, generosity, and ability of other members. In the theory of social interactions, researchers consider trust as a necessary factor for the process of social interaction. Trust creates and maintains relationships between individuals. When there is trust among people there is a greater willingness to cooperate and share information between them (Razak et al., 2016). Researchers have worked on the relationship between trust and knowledge sharing behavior. Abrams, Cross, Lesser, and Levin (2003) investigated the interpersonal trust in knowledge-sharing networks. They summarized behaviors (e.g., discretion, consistency, collaboration) and practices (e.g., building a shared vision, ensuring transparency in decision-making, holding people accountable for trust) for managers interested in promoting trust (and thereby knowledge creation and sharing) within their own organizations. Mooradian, Renzl, and Matzler (2006) showed the relationship between personality, trust and knowledge sharing. Their results indicated the relationship between trust and knowledge sharing behavior. Cheng, Yeh, and Tu (2008) proposed a research about the relationship between trust and knowledge sharing in green supply chains. They found that trust is the pivot of the factors influencing interorganizational knowledge sharing. Hsu, Ju, Yen, and Chang (2007) developed a research about knowledge sharing behavior in virtual communities. They showed that self-efficacy and trust influence knowledge sharing behaviors. Alsharo, Gregg, and Ramirez (2017) investigated virtual team effectiveness. They considered the role of knowledge sharing and trust. The findings of this research show that knowledge sharing positively influences trust and collaboration among virtual team members. Le and Lei (2018) considered the mediating role of trust in stimulating the relationship between transformational leadership and knowledge sharing processes. The results of these researches suggest that there is a relationship between trust and knowledge sharing behavior. Trust refers to a set of specific beliefs that mainly relate to the integrity, generosity, and ability of other members. Consequently, the level of trust of people who communicate with each other can create a willingness to cooperate and share information between them. People who have trust each other can manipulate their intention toward different things. Thus we expect that trust has a direct impact on information and knowledge sharing behavior. Consequently, the following hypothesis is generated:H5

Trust positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

The next variable used in this theory is the perceived benefit. According to psychological theories, in relation to individual motivations, there are two dimensions of benefit that include the dimensions of internal benefits and external benefits. Internal benefits mean sharing information in order to satisfy the inner sense. In fact, this benefit is the opposite of intuitive and tangible interests and senses. External benefits include physical and tangible benefits that result from sharing information. Undoubtedly, people's willingness to share knowledge and information requires that one obtains a profit or benefit in return for doing so. Davenport and Prusak (1998) believed that people's time, energy, and knowledge are limited. They believed that people share their knowledge when it is profitable. Researchers have observed that reciprocal benefits can provide an effective motivation to facilitate knowledge sharing, thus achieving long-term mutual cooperation (Bock, Zmud, Kim, & Lee, 2005). Bordia, Irmer, and Abusah (2006) showed that apprehension and perceived benefits can facilitate knowledge sharing. Lin (2007) believed that extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, which is perceived profit, influence knowledge sharing intentions. Moghavvemi, Sharabati, Paramanathan, and Rahin (2017) investigated the relationship between perceived reciprocal benefits and knowledge sharing. Their results show that the perceived reciprocal benefits can increase knowledge sharing of students through Facebook. Perceived profit refers to physical and tangible benefits. The more people perceive profit, the more they want to share their knowledge and their information. Thus it is believed that the perceived profit variable has a direct impact on information and knowledge sharing behavior Based on the previous research, we hypothesize that:H6

Perceived benefit positively influences information/knowledge sharing behavior of users.

Relationship between knowledge/information sharing and purchase intention

In a competitive and changing business environment where retail power and customer demand levels are steadily growing, developing long-term relationships with customers is a vital requirement for the success and sustainability of products in the marketplace. Customers are targeted at mass media during this time period and the impact of these media has changed the way of consumers’ thinking, feelings and their needs. Market researchers and organizations each year spend a lot on researching customers to determine their customers' decisions and behaviors. Analyzing the behavior of customers' purchase intention is very important for determining customer behavioral intentions (Mirabi, Akbariyeh, & Tahmasebifard, 2015)

The desire to buy online is defined as the desire of customers to purchase products or services through websites. In this sense, online shopping is the end result of a number of e-commerce signs for customers (Shaouf, Lü, & Li, 2016) because of the ease of use, less commute, and the easy payment the tendency to online shopping is growing among customers. (Shaouf et al., 2016)

When managers have a correct understanding of the factors affecting customer purchasing intention it can provide a strong, long-term relationship with customers in an efficient manner. Thus, the first step to create a long-term relationship with customers and turn them into loyal customers is to identify the factors affecting customer purchasing intention (Mirabi et al., 2015).

Purchase behavior is a personal behavior which can be manipulated through information and emotional process. Knowledge sharing can have an impact on purchase intention because with knowledge about products and services people can a make decision wisely. Based on the previous research, we hypothesize that:H7

Information/knowledge sharing behavior positively influences purchase intention of users.

Based on the hypotheses which are explained the conceptual model is as follow:

Research methodology

This section describes item measurement and data collection in this research

Measurement

This study used a literature review to investigate key questions and hypotheses about the relationships among social capital, social interaction theory, knowledge/information sharing, and purchase intention in social commerce platforms. The respondents were 254 individuals, who have bought more than 5 times from social commerce site such as; Digikala, Sheypoor, and Divar.

Of the 254 participants, 134 were men (52.7%) and 120 were women (47.3%), with ages ranging from 18 to 40 years with the average of 27.34. The social capital has three dimensions which are measured through an existing social capital scale. Cognitive capital is measured through 3 items (Chen, Huang, & Davison, 2017). Structural capital has 4 items for measurement (Chen et al., 2017). Relational capital is measured by 4 items which are developed by Chen et al. (2017). Social interaction theory is measured on the basis of user responses to 17 items on an existing five-point scale (Liu, Liang, Rajagopalan, Sambamurthy, & Wu, 2012). Knowledge sharing is also measured on a five-point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree; 5=strongly agree), adapted from Omotayo, Omotayo, Babalola, and Babalola (2016). Finally, the purchase intention is measured through 3 items which are extracted from Odekerken-Schröder, De Wulf, and Schumacher (2003) (Table 1).

Table 1.

Variables measurment.

Variable  Reference  Questions 
Cognitive capital  Chen et al. (2017)  1–3 
Structural capital  Chen et al. (2017)  4–7 
Relational capital  Chen et al. (2017)  8–11 
Trust  Liu et al. (2012)  12–17 
Social interactions  Liu et al. (2012)  18–22 
Perceived profit  Liu et al. (2012)  23–28 
Knowledge sharing  Omotayo et al. (2016)  29–36 
Purchase intention  Odekerken-Schröder et al. (2003)  37–39 

The survey items are listed in appendix A. A five-point Likert scale is used for all survey items.

Data collection

The data for this study were collected from three major social commerce platforms in Iran. The most famous social commerce sites in Iran are Digikala, Sheypoor, and Divar. These sites cover all kind of products and services. Launched in Feb. 2007, Digikala is a fast growing market leader in e-commerce in Iran which is now the most visited online store in the Middle East. Divar is the leading classified ads platform in Iran. Sheypoor is another social commerce site, which is the third most visited social commerce site in Iran. This research chose these three platforms because they are the best social commerce site based on Alexa statistic. Moreover, more than 76 percent of all Iranian people who use social commerce sites visit these three sites. Consequently, users of these three sites can show us a proper image of intention and behavior of people in social commerce platforms in Iran. We e-mailed the users of these platforms a direct link to the electronic questionnaire, soliciting their participation in our survey. The survey was conducted from March 23, 2017 to March 23, 2018, obtaining 254 valid responses.

Results

The overall goodness-of-fit of the model is as follow (Chi-square 2649.127, df=697, p<0.001, chi/df=3.801, CFI=1.000, RMSEA=0.000). The reliability coefficients of all variables, including cognitive capital, structural capital, relational capital, trust, social interaction, perceived benefit, knowledge sharing, and purchase intention, were more than 0.7 which is acceptable value for reliability.

All of the coefficients indicate acceptable reliability of these measures (see Table 2). Next, discriminant validity can be determined whether the square root of average variance extracted (AVE) for each construct exceeds the correlations between construct pairs. The results in Table 3 show that the square root of AVE was greater than pairwise correlation coefficients for each construct. This confirmed the discriminant validity for our measures.

Table 2.

Reliability of variables.

variables  Composite reliability  Cronbachs alpha 
Cognitive capital  0.8784  0.7923 
Knowledge sharing  0.9125  0.8903 
Perceived benefit  0.9083  0.8787 
Purchase intention  0.8602  0.7563 
Relational capital  0.8828  0.8228 
Social interaction  0.8939  0.8516 
Structural capital  0.8695  0.7998 
Trust  0.9  0.8665 
Table 3.

Correlations and discriminant validity.

  Cognitive capital  Knowledge sharing  Perceived benefit  Purchase intention  Relational capital  Social interaction  Structural capital  Trust 
Cognitive capital  0.840595               
Knowledge sharing  0.636  0.752596             
Perceived benefit  0.6069  0.666  0.789303           
Purchase intention  0.7636  0.6371  0.634  0.819939         
Relational capital  0.757  0.6365  0.625  0.7549  0.80827       
Social interaction  0.6134  0.6615  0.6643  0.6199  0.6466  0.792149     
Structural capital  0.7561  0.6539  0.6416  0.7669  0.7629  0.6346  0.790569   
Trust  0.6092  0.6675  0.6657  0.6399  0.6296  0.6636  0.6132  0.774726 

Note. Numbers on the diagonal denote the square root of AVE. This study used partial least squares (PLS) for structural equation modeling, which has good statistical power for samples. Figures 1 and 2 show the results of PLS 2.

We summarized these two figures in Table 4 as follow:

Table 4.

Model estimates.

Path  Coefficient  Standard deviation  T statistics 
Cognitive capital -> Knowledge sharing  0.105  0.0497  3.9313 
Structural capital -> Knowledge sharing  0.2  0.0472  4.2385 
Relational capital -> Knowledge sharing  0.128  0.0517  2.4724 
Trust -> Knowledge sharing  0.109  0.0561  1.9401 
Social interaction -> Knowledge sharing  0.16  0.0586  2.7366 
Perceived benefit -> Knowledge sharing  0.219  0.0635  3.4445 
Knowledge sharing -> Purchase intention  0.837  0.0157  53.341 

The results show that social capital dimensions have an impact on knowledge sharing. Moreover, the results show that social interaction and perceived benefit have influenced knowledge sharing. On the other hand, the relationship between trust and knowledge sharing is refused. Finally, the results illustrate that knowledge sharing has an impact on purchase intention. In the next, the results are discussed.

Discussion

This study helps clarify the concept of social capital and social interaction theory and determine the relationships between social capitals, social interaction theory and knowledge sharing and purchase intention in social commerce concept. It also contributes to the theoretical foundation and the implications of social commerce. This study offers overarching theoretical implications on how social capital, social interaction theory, and knowledge sharing behavior influence consumer purchase intention of social commerce platforms. The theoretical underpinnings were including the effects of social capital dimensions, and social interaction theory on knowledge sharing. It is also shown that knowledge sharing has an impact on purchase intention.H1

structural capital positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

Based on the results, structural capital represents the pattern of general communication between individuals. This dimension reflects the position of users in the social system and identifies the ability of users to access resources. Consumer purchase intention involves various psychosocial processes that include purchasing and consuming activities. Beyond any buying action, there is an important decision-making process that needs to be addressed. The steps taken by the buyer to decide what kind of products and services to buy is called the purchasing decision making process. Customers with more commitment are more likely to make purchases. Purchase intention in this research is expressed as customer’s consecutive purchases and how much they spend in a store compared to other stores. Based on the results obtained in this study, interactions periodically are one of the most important foundations of the structural capital. Besides, when the buyer and the seller communicate together for the first time, they have less trust due to the lack of information. Social interaction can be a way to work together to access information resources. Increasing social interactions periodically leads to an increase in familiarity that can create a structural capital between the parties. Hence, it creates a relationship between them, and this relationship can affect the willingness of customers to buy.H2

cognitive capital positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

The cognitive dimension of social capital refers to those sources that provide manifestations, interpretations, and systems of common meanings among groups. Cognitive capital results in a system in which users can share common meanings. Actually, cognitive capital is a common language which is crucial for knowledge sharing in social commerce platform. People should understand each other in order to communicate.H3

relational capital positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

Relational capital refers to the development of relationships through the history of interactions with social networking. A relationship based on respect and friendship can affect the behavior of members of the social network. Such a relationship can help individuals make valuable assets available to the social network in order to use the group. These valuable assets in the social network are the same as information. In fact, the development of relational capital makes individuals in the social network have a relationship of trust and respect, and such relationship causes information sharing to be increased.H4

Interpersonal Interactions positively influences information and knowledge sharing behavior of users.

Knowledge sharing is one of the main areas of the knowledge management system, where knowledge gained is shared with other people in an organization. One of the factors that essentially affect the sharing of knowledge is social interactions. Through social interactions, people are looking for similar behaviors that are known as power. In fact, people tend to treat in a way that makes them seem powerful. In general, social identity occurs when people act in a manner that maximizes satisfaction with others, and this satisfaction occurs when a relationship is beneficial. An information sharing agent can create this usefulness. Thus, sharing information is influenced by social interactions.H6

perceived benefit positively influences information/knowledge sharing behavior of users.

In analyzing this relationship, perceived profit actually has a psychological dimension in relation to information sharing. Perceived profit by individuals who intend to share information is an intrinsic motivating factor. This phenomenon means that when people feel that the consequences of their activities improve working conditions or facilitates activities, they are certainly more likely to treat in the direction of sharing information. In the context of sharing knowledge, individuals are concerned about the benefits of sharing their knowledge in comparison with non-sharing. Hence, perceived profits have a direct relationship to knowledge sharing.H7

information/knowledge sharing behavior positively influences purchase intention of users.

Information/Knowledge sharing impacts on the way of consumers’ thinking, feelings and their needs. In social commerce platforms, users share their ideas and thoughts. Purchase intention is a personal behavior which can be manipulated through information and emotional process. Knowledge sharing can have an impact on purchase intention because with knowledge about products and services people can make decision wisely.

Managerial implications

For managerial implications, this study suggests that marketers should understand the best practices for building social interaction with consumers through social commerce sites based on the popularity of these sites as crucial platforms. The findings suggest some guidelines for engaging with consumers through carefully deliberated social interaction and social interaction to generate knowledge/information sharing. Creating social capital and social interaction between users results in knowledge sharing. By recognizing that social interaction and social capital affect knowledge sharing, the study has substantive marketing and managerial implications. Marketing practitioners must highlight referent and reward interpersonal interaction, trust, and perceived benefit to heighten social interaction, which then increases knowledge sharing. Moreover, marketers can improve knowledge sharing through improving social capital. When marketers develop Media in social commerce sites that allow consumers to perceive referent and reward social capital and social interaction, they enhance knowledge/information sharing by expressing their ideas. This study suggests that social capital and social interaction is a strong influential variable for purchase intention through knowledge/information sharing. Thus, marketers should consider social capital management and social interaction management in their social commerce platforms.

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no significant competing financial, professional, or personal interests that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.

Appendix A
Measurement items

Variable  Item  Reference 
Cognitive capitalIn the time of interactions involving the Internet shopping of the members of my Social commerce site, we use shared vocabulary  Chen et al. (2017)
During the Internet Shopping conversation, the staff of the social networking site and I use a common and understandable communication model 
At the time of communication in Internet shopping, the Social commerce staff and I use common and understandable speech. 
Structural capitalThe relationship of the staff of the social commerce site and I remain a close social relationship in online shopping  Chen et al. (2017)
The staff of the social commerce site and I spend a lot of time interacting 
The employees of the social commerce site and I have a consistent relationship with each other 
The Social commerce site staff is well acquainted with my personal interests 
Relational capitalIf I want to buy a similar product again, I will buy the product from the social commerce site  Chen et al. (2017)
I would like to return to the social commerce site every day 
I would like to make another purchase from the social commerce site 
I recommend my social networking site to my friends 
TrustI believe that employees of social commerce sites are trustworthy.  Liu et al. (2012)
I mean that employees of Social commerce sites are worried about my best interests. 
I believe in the information I get from the Social commerce site staff 
I believe that the employees of social commerce sites are resourceful in knowledge sharing. 
I find it useful for me to get the information I get from employees of Social commerce sites 
I believe that the information that I get from employees of Social commerce sites is reliable. 
Social interactionsThe employees of the company's social commerce sites devote a lot of time  Liu et al. (2012)
Employees of Social commerce sites are intermittently in touch. 
The employees of the social commerce sites of this organization have a mutual understanding of the events. 
The employees of the social commerce sites have enough skills to communicate. 
Employees of social commerce sites are interconnected as a network 
Perceived profitParticipants' perception of material value (non-monetary) through participation in the knowledge network is appropriate.  Liu et al. (2012)
The participants' perception of the value of increasing the respect and acquisition of personality through participation in the knowledge network is appropriate. 
The perception of participants of the value of knowledge and returning knowledge through participation in a knowledge network is appropriate. 
The participants' perception of the value of happiness about helping other users to share knowledge is appropriate. 
Participants' perception of the value of the effort required to build a knowledge network is appropriate. 
Participants' perception of the value of the amount and time required for participation in the knowledge network is appropriate. 
Knowledge sharingOur network members share their work reports and official documents with other members of the group.  Omotayo et al. (2016)
Our network members share their methodologies and guidelines with other members of the group 
Our network members share experience and knowledge of doing things with other members of the group 
I actively share my knowledge with network members 
I am discussing the issues of professionalism in face-to-face with others instead of conflict with the problem itself alone. 
I usually find myself involved with professional discussions that benefit the people of the network 
I volunteer to share information and knowledge with other industry professionals 
I share information and knowledge that is beneficial to me or my colleagues 
Purchase intentionI spend a lot of money to buy products online from social commerce sites  Odekerken-Schröder et al. (2003)
From the 10th time I choose a store to buy, 6 times I select Social commerce sites 
I buy more merchandise from e-commerce sites than other stores. 

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