Undergraduate research project to be published in international journal

An independent research study written by class of 2013 Smeal College of Business Marketing major Setenay Kucukemiroglu has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Commerce and Management.

Kucukemiroglu‘s study, titled “Online Word-of-Mouth Communication on Social Networking Sites: An Empirical Study of Facebook Users,” was co-authored with Ali Kara, professor of marketing at Penn State York.

"[T]wo years ago when I started the project, there weren’t that many other research findings on the marketing of Facebook. I thought it would be not only an interesting topic, but one that could inform marketers and management alike.”

“The project started off as an honors course paper. With that, I had to collaborate with a professor on what I wanted to do for my honors project,” said Kucukemiroglu. “From there, my topic was born.”

Setting out to study the factors influencing college students’ social networking word-of-mouth behavior, Kucukemiroglu developed a survey instrument designed to measure the constructs assumed to have influence on word-of-mouth communication on social networks.

“I pursued this area of research because, two years ago when I started the project, there weren’t that many other research findings on the marketing of Facebook,” said Kucukemiroglu. “I thought it would be not only an interesting topic, but one that could inform marketers and management alike.”

Her results indicate that social capital and trust are important factors that positively influence opinion-giving and opinion-seeking behaviors, which in turn influence word-of-mouth behavior on Facebook.

“The professor who supervised my research and I decided to present our findings at a conference last fall,” said Kucukemiroglu.

She then displayed her results at the Smeal Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 22, along with several other students who completed individual research.

Other projects on display at the symposium included “Business Strategies for Agricultural Technology Commercialization,” “Exploration of Saatchi and Saatchi’s Theory on Brand Love” and “Pseudoscientific Health Claims on Consumer Behavior.”

Research grants are available to undergraduate students who wish to pursue an individual research project or fund a research study for the Schreyer honors thesis. Funds will cover travel expenses, research materials, conference fees, survey preparation, data collection materials, software purchases and more.

To find out more about funding and conducting your own research study, visit www.ugstudents.smeal.psu.edu/academics-advising/undergraduate-research-g....

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Last Updated September 10, 2013