Sensemaking of Shared Information: Perspective of Relevance in WhatsApp

  • Joseph Kwame Adjei Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, School of Technology, Accra, Ghana
  • Pearl Tweneboah Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, School of Technology, Accra, Ghana
  • Peter Ebo Tobbin Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, School of Technology, Accra, Ghana
Keywords: WhatsApp, social media, information sharing, sensemaking, media richness theory, shared information, social network


Despite the growing literature on information sharing in Social Media there is minimal understanding of how user’s estimate relevant information from shared information in the media. This paper explores the issue of relevant information sharing in social media by using a qualitative approach drawing on Media Richness Theory (MRT) through the lens of sensemaking to collect data. A questionnaire and interview were used to obtain data from regular users of WhatsApp with different backgrounds in the social network group context. Besides the capabilities of the media the results showed additional variables Channel Influence, Social influence, Nature of the Content, Experiential influence and Individual processing capabilities by conveyance and convergence play an important role in sensemaking for the shaping of relevant information. A framework for sensemaking of media relevant information is developed; the paper extends the Media Richness concept and has also opened a new area of research for innovative knowledge to emerge to address the challenges in social media information use which is highly relevant to IS research.


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Author Biographies

Joseph Kwame Adjei, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, School of Technology, Accra, Ghana

Joseph Kwame Adjei is a Senior Lecturer and the Dean of School of Technology, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). Joseph holds a PhD in Information Systems from Aalborg University, Denmark, and MSc in Advanced Information Technology from LSBU, UK. He is a fellow of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. His research focuses on development of better frameworks for implementation of Trusted Digital Identity Management Systems, Mobile Financial Services and the use of Social Media and Cloud Computing. His previous research activities have been published in reputable journals and conference proceedings.

Pearl Tweneboah, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, School of Technology, Accra, Ghana

Pearl Tweneboah is a Mining Engineer with specialist knowledge in Information’s System. She has Master of Science in Management information systems from GIMPA Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He currently work as Information Systems researcher and also engaged mining software training and business process improvement. Her research interest is in factors affecting adoption and use of Social Media.

Peter Ebo Tobbin, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, School of Technology, Accra, Ghana

Peter Ebo Tobbin is a Senior Lecturer at School of Technology, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). Peter holds a PhD in Information Technology and Telecommunications from Aalborg University, Denmark, M.Sc. in Information Technology Security from University of Westminster, UK and Bachelor of Law from University of London, UK. He is a Chartered Certified Accountant and holds a number IT certifications. Peter has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and academic conference papers. His research focuses on adoption and use of mobile money and social media.


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