Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Riyad Eid

Second Advisor

Mumin Dayan

Third Advisor

Ibrahim Belal


Social Media Sites (SMSs) are affecting a wide cross-section of marketing activities, including research, strategy formulation, advertising, promotions and sales. It is proposed that Social Media Sites (SMSs) are not only an addition to the modern marketer's toolkit, but mark an endemic and ecological change.

The purpose of this research is to investigate what antecedents determine a user's engagement with an account on a social media sites (SMSs).

Through their use, the social media have facilitated various business opportunities as well as providing the public sector with platforms through which organizations can engage current and future customers. Still, the huge gap of practical knowledge about the role of SMSs in the public sector should not be forgotten.

A key issue is this area is the focus on the user's; however, beyond this, the dissertation probed below the surface to see how such virtual engagement is conceptualized and what factors facilitate and support customer materialization.

In the same context, this research assesses the effectiveness of using Social Media Marketing (SMM) as a tool in the public sector and attempts to shed light on it by examining the different user needs that SMSs satisfy, together with the important implications and outcomes for public sector bodies hoping to become involved in SMM.

Consequently, it proposes a framework to serve the building of theory for understanding Customer Materialization on SMSs. The research model was based on the premise that SMSs are likely to symbolically engage users in the social media when public sector organizations pay close attention to three key areas: Adoption, Implications and Outcomes.

This research is notable for proposing an integrated framework which considers different aspects of social science: the media, technology, and marketing. The Uses and Gratifications theory (U&G Theory), the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the Customer Engagement Cycle are used as instruments in this research. With their aid, a questionnaire was developed to target Zakat Fund followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The questionnaire was hosted online, and then, a web link was posted to the Zakat Fund Accounts on the SMSs. E-mails were also sent to more than 2,000 users. The participants eventually totalled 733.

The dissertation results supported its objectives and clarified four critical arguments by achieving: 1) a better understanding was reached of SMSs users' behaviour and the psychological gratifications they derive from adopting SMSs; 2) those relationships were revalidated in the context of SMSs with hypotheses that focused on the relations between Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU), Perceived Usefulness (PU), attitude to Behavioral Intentions (BI) ; 3) the user's journey via SMSs toward Behavioral Intentions (BI) could be speeded up (accelerated) or slowed down (decelerate) by one of two factors: Trust and Virtual Engagement; 4) the engaged user has the full intention to move from the virtual world to the real world. This research introduced a new concept, "Customer Materialization".

Moreover, this research contributes to the practical knowledge in the area of the social media and marketing through them, and has important practical solutions for increasing the effectiveness of marketing strategy overall and for the public sector on Social Media Sites (SMSs) in particular.

Finally, this study has its own limitations and recognizing them should help refine future investigation efforts. Future researchers will also need to focus on integrating other SMSs and different contexts.

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