The power of LinkedIn: how LinkedIn enables professionals to leave their organizations for professional advancement

Vincent Cho, Wing Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose: This study applies self-determination theory to investigate how motivations to participate in LinkedIn would influence a professional's intention to leave an organization for professional advancement (ILPA). Design/methodology/approach: The authors randomly sampled 5810 professionals who are actively participating in LinkedIn for at least six months and collected 379 completed questionnaires. Findings: This study examines the effect of motivation to participate in LinkedIn on ILPA. Perceived autonomy support, perceived competence support and perceived relatedness support have positive influences on intrinsic motivation. Introjected regulation is positively influenced by perceived autonomy and competence support but unaffected by perceived relatedness support. External regulation is positively influenced by perceived autonomy and competence support but has no relationship with perceived relatedness support. ILPA from using LinkedIn is positively influenced by intrinsic motivation, introjected and external regulations. Research limitations/implications: Future research should consider other professional network sites as well as longitudinal research designs to address external validity and causality issues. Practical implications: Organizations should understand that professional network sites play an important role for professional advancement. The motivations to participate in professional network sites are supports on autonomy and competence. For platform designers, it is vital to enhance supports on autonomy and competence to sustain users' participation in professional network sites. Originality/value: This study extends the scope of self-determination theory to understand the motivations to participate in professional network sites, which will have impacts on professionals' ILPA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-286
Number of pages25
JournalInternet Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021


  • LinkedIn
  • Professional advancement
  • Self-determination theory
  • Time perspective concept
  • Turnover intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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