Although the ecological approach has been utilized in the field of communication, no prior research has applied this perspective to examine the organizational selection of social media. This study employs the framework of density dependence to understand what drives the adoption of social media by organizations. Fixed-effects negative binominal regression models were run to test the hypotheses that predicted the founding rates of 2007 Chinese newspaper organizations in 31 provincial units on Sina Weibo from August 2009 to June 2015. The results show that the founding rate of party newspapers exhibits inverted U-shaped relationships to local or non-local party newspaper density and non-party newspaper density. At the same time, the density dependence hypothesis is supported only for the effect of non-party newspaper density outside the provincial unit on the founding rate of non-party newspapers. Unexpectedly, non-party newspaper density within the provincial boundary exerts no significant influence on this founding rate. Both local and non-local party newspaper densities significantly and negatively influence the decisions to start homepages on Sina Weibo among non-newspaper organizations. Discussion and implications are provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering