Dr. Mamonov’s Facebook Gifts Study Wins Best Paper at Scientific Conference

Dr. Stanislav Mamonov, School of Business Assistant Professor in the Information and Operations Management Department, presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS) on January 10th. Now in its 48th year, the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) is one of the longest-standing continuously running scientific conferences. This conference brought together researchers in an atmosphere conducive to free exchange of scientific ideas.

The study won best paper on the digital and social media track which received over 300 submissions. Dr. Mamonov presented the study done with Dr. Raquel Benbunan-Fich (Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, CUNY) entitled “To Give or not to Give? An Exploratory Study of User Beliefs Influencing Adoption of Facebook Gifts.”

The study sheds light on some of the reasons why the service failed. In brief, gift-giving is an intricate social ritual. The effort taken by the gift giver in procuring a gift is important for the symbolic value of a gift. Technology is often seen as a method to reduce effort. Their results suggest that the idea of giving a gift in the context of a social networking site suffers from the low perceived value of such a gift. In other words, social norms related to gift-giving run counter to the perceptions of technology and this clash was likely among the reasons why the service failed.