Purpose: This research paper aims to explore the influence of social media–based knowledge-sharing intentions (SMKI) on prospective authentic leadership development (ALD) to deal with the future crisis. In the existing literature, to the best of the authors' knowledge, there is no significant empirical evidence to test the relationship between SMKI and ALD. Thus, this study contributes to the growing literature regarding the role of SMKIs, ALD, social media–based knowledge-sharing behavior (SMKB) and facilitating conditions (FCs). However, in this study, the authors developed a conceptual framework based on technology adoption and leadership theory. It was used to identify preservice educational leaders' SMKIs and their effect on ALD to deal with an educational crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, SMKIs are strengthening ALD, directly and indirectly, using SMKB and FCs. Design/methodology/approach: In this study, the higher education students are considered preservice leaders who were enrolled in educational leadership and management programs. However, this study's target population and sample are students enrolled in educational leadership and management programs. Therefore, higher education students are considered preservice educational leaders. Therefore, a multilevel questionnaire survey approach was adopted to collect data from preservice educational leaders (n = 451 at Time 1 and n = 398 at Time 2) enrolled in education departments in the selected universities in Pakistan. A total of 398 survey questionnaires were finalized with a return ratio of 89%. The partial least square structural equation modeling with SmartPLS 3.2.8 was used for the data analysis. Findings: This research found that SMKIs are positively and significantly connected with ALD. This study also confirms that SMKB significantly and positively mediates the relationship between SMKIs and ALD. Therefore, this study concludes that preservice educational leaders were ready to adopt SMKB. Practical implications: Social media–based knowledge sharing can be helpful to develop authentic leadership among preservice educational leaders during a crisis. Preservice educational leaders as authentic leaders can prove to be an asset in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Originality/value: This research integrated the technology adoption model and leadership theory to provide empirical evidence of SMKIs' direct and indirect influence on ALD through social media–based knowledge-sharing actual use behavior by preservice educational leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the moderated mediating effect of the FCs was also studied in the relationship between SMKIs and actual user behavior as well as ALD. © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased psychological issues such as excessive social media networking sites usage (SMNSU), loneliness, social anxiety, and depression. In this quantitative study, we examined how SMNSU can directly and indirectly influence depression, with loneliness and social anxiety examined as mediator variables. A 39-item questionnaire was used to collect survey data on SMNSU, loneliness, social anxiety, and depression from 244 blended learning undergraduate students from universities in the Hunan province in China. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was conducted using SmartPLS 3.3.3 to measure the relationships between the stated variables of interest. Results indicated that SMNSU has a direct, significant, and positive relationship with depression. In terms of mediating effects, both loneliness and social anxiety have an intervening role in the association between SMNSU and depression. This study focused on the higher education sector of China by recruiting students who were enrolled in blended learning courses during the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing psychological problems. We found that excessive SMNSU is associated with depression. Loneliness and social anxiety also increase depression along with excessive SMNSU among blended learning students during unprecedented situations, in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic. The valuable implications of these findings for teachers, counselors, and university managers are discussed, along with a consideration of future research directions.