University of Twente Student Theses


De Willemsroute : Routekeuze beïnvloeding middels Sociale Media

Bloem, Matthijs van (2011) De Willemsroute : Routekeuze beïnvloeding middels Sociale Media.

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Abstract:In this thesis Matthijs van Bloem reports the work for his MSc graduation project which he conducted for Rijkswaterstaat for his study Communication studies at the University of Twente. The Dutch government waterways authority, known as Rijkswaterstaat, carried out heavy maintenance to sevaral important sluices in the river Maas. Due to the maintenance, the waiting time of ships increases. The consequences are both financial and economical, causing commercial ships to be delayed. To cope with this situation, recreational ships can be diverted via an alternative route through Belgium called The Willemsroute. This route can decrease the waiting times and increase the safety on the waterways. The challenge hereby is to persuade recreational boaters to change their mind through social media in such a way that they eventually navigate to the alternative route. To investigate this, the following research problem was formulated: In what extent do financial compensiation and social media influence the route choice behavior of people? This defined problem is supported by six hypotheses, in order to provide insight how much the strong points of social media (like the social norm, and the hierarchical equality with others on social media) impacts the relationship between social media and route choice. To find an answer to the problem formulated above, three conditions were set up, one baseline condition, and two conditions using social media. The participants of the baseline condition can only use an informative website while the other participants, grouped into one of the conditions complementary to the website, can use a social route application (RouteYou). Moreover, the participants of one of these two social media conditions also had a forum at their disposal. To be more precise: the participants were classified into one of these conditions randomly, and in addition to that, they filled in a pre- and a postquestionnaire about their sailbehaviour and their use of different kinds of media. The results of the questionnaires points out that many participants sailed the alternative route thanks to The Willemsroute project. The financial compensation was one of the main triggers to set sail to the alternative route but also the calm characteristics and the nice landscape of the Willemsroute were a matter of importance. Furthermore, the results of this research show that social media, like the forum and RouteYou, did not effect the route choice of the recreational boaters. Also the different moderators like: trust, experience, a social norm and identification did not have a significant effect. This can be explained since most of the participants were not familiar with the social media and therfore did not make any contributions. This is important, since it turns out that especially the amount of contributions are essential to set up a succesfull community (Cothrel en Williams, 1999). It as an important objective for future research to have this succesfull community. In order to achieve this, we have the following recommandations: make the recreational boaters more familiar with the possibilities of the website, make it easy to place a contribution, consider the possibility to register by mobile phone, create a link between the user and the website and keep the financial incentive.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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