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korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 2

[ Article ]
korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 2, pp.467-504
Abbreviation: kmr
ISSN: 1226-1874 (Print)
Print publication date 30 Apr 2021
Received 28 Sep 2020 Revised 28 Dec 2020 Accepted 30 Dec 2020

Impact of SNS Social Capital on the Public Opinion Formation Process: Focused on the Moderating Effect and the Moderated Mediation Effect of Social Distance
Dong-In Shin ; Kee-Young Kwahk
(First Author) BK Postdoctoral Researcher, Industry-academic Cooperation Foundation, Kookmin University (
(Corresponding Author) Professor, College of Business Administration/Graduate School of Business IT, Kookmin University (

SNS 사회적 자본이 여론형성 과정에 미치는 영향: 사회적 거리감의 조절효과와 조절된 매개효과 중심으로

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Based on the social capital theory and the spiral of silence theory, this study suggested the process of SNS users’ public opinion expression on social issues. Based on the construal level theory, we examined how the opinion expression process specifically changes according to the individuals’ social distance. The motivational factors of willingness to speak out were presented as SNS social capital, current opinion congruency, and attitude certainty. SNS social capital positively affected current opinion congruency, attitude certainty, and willingness to speak out. Current opinion congruency did not significantly affect the willingness to speak out and positively influenced attitude certainty. Attitude certainty had a positive effect on the willingness to speak out. The social distance positively moderated the effects of SNS social capital on current opinion congruency, SNS social capital on attitude certainty. Also, the moderated mediating effect of social distance was found to be significant. This study proposed a new framework of the public opinion expression process that complements the spiral of silence theory through social capital theory. Moreover, this study detailed and concretely demonstrated the process of expressing opinions of SNS users from construal level theory.

Keywords: Social Media, Spiral of Silence Theory, SNS Social Capital, Attitude Certainty, Current Opinion Congruency, Willingness to Speak out, Social Distance, Construal Level Theory


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2018S1A3A2075114).

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∙The author Dong-In Shin is a BK Postdoctoral Researcher at Industry-academic Cooperation Foundation, Kookmin University. He received his BFA in the College of Arts from Kookmin University and received his MA, Ph.D. in the Graduate School of Business IT from Kookmin University. His major research interests include social health, opinion expression, social network analysis, data analytics, social communication ecology.

∙The author Kee-Young Kwahk is a management information system professor at the College of Business Administration and the Graduate School of Business IT, Kookmin University. He graduated from the Business School of Seoul National University and received his MS and Ph.D. in management information systems from KAIST. His primary research interests include social network analysis and its applications, data analytics, user behavior in social media, and knowledge management.