Social media are catalysts of transforming relationships between a government and its public through participatory and collaborative communication and a more dialogic relationship with different stakeholders. Thus, governments’ use of social media may challenge the service delivery logic of e-government toward a shared governance (e-governance) promoting participation and reinvigorating democracy. E-governance is an umbrella and multidimensional concept. In the paper, it is referred to as that ICT-enabled good public governance model deriving from a participatory and multi-stakeholder approach. Thus, the study aims to investigate to what extent twitter is being adopted by the Italian departments/ministries as a tool for e-governance taking advantage of the participation potential inherent in web 2.0. Our findings come from an empirical study carried out on 5330 tweets of nine Italian official accounts of government departments at the state level through a combination of social media analysis, content analysis and social network analysis. An e-governance propensity index is built for each government department as a combination among indexes representing, on the one hand, a participatory use of twitter such as the diversity of content posted (functional, symbolic and participative content), and, on the other hand, a multi-stakeholder approach measured by the heterogeneity of actors contacted through mentions, retweets and replies and the density of the discussion network around each account. No twitter account show a high e-governance propensity. Instead, the degree of e-governance propensity on twitter was found to be low for the majority of the government organizations under analysis. This means a low heterogeneity of content posted, of actors mentioned and a low density of the discussion network. Thus, twitter in Italian context seems to be rarely used to create dialogue. The results indicate that for the Italian government organizations analyzed, twitter functions as another informative and promotional channel of public communication rather than as a mean of shared governance. Given the large number of studies claiming that participation and interactivity are strictly associated with social media usage, it was somewhat surprising that none of the government organizations analyzed seem to apply any form of shared governance.

Public Administrations in a digital public space. A framework for assessing participatory and multistakeholder models of relationship on twitter

LEONE, Stefania;DELLI PAOLI, ANGELA
2016

Abstract

Social media are catalysts of transforming relationships between a government and its public through participatory and collaborative communication and a more dialogic relationship with different stakeholders. Thus, governments’ use of social media may challenge the service delivery logic of e-government toward a shared governance (e-governance) promoting participation and reinvigorating democracy. E-governance is an umbrella and multidimensional concept. In the paper, it is referred to as that ICT-enabled good public governance model deriving from a participatory and multi-stakeholder approach. Thus, the study aims to investigate to what extent twitter is being adopted by the Italian departments/ministries as a tool for e-governance taking advantage of the participation potential inherent in web 2.0. Our findings come from an empirical study carried out on 5330 tweets of nine Italian official accounts of government departments at the state level through a combination of social media analysis, content analysis and social network analysis. An e-governance propensity index is built for each government department as a combination among indexes representing, on the one hand, a participatory use of twitter such as the diversity of content posted (functional, symbolic and participative content), and, on the other hand, a multi-stakeholder approach measured by the heterogeneity of actors contacted through mentions, retweets and replies and the density of the discussion network around each account. No twitter account show a high e-governance propensity. Instead, the degree of e-governance propensity on twitter was found to be low for the majority of the government organizations under analysis. This means a low heterogeneity of content posted, of actors mentioned and a low density of the discussion network. Thus, twitter in Italian context seems to be rarely used to create dialogue. The results indicate that for the Italian government organizations analyzed, twitter functions as another informative and promotional channel of public communication rather than as a mean of shared governance. Given the large number of studies claiming that participation and interactivity are strictly associated with social media usage, it was somewhat surprising that none of the government organizations analyzed seem to apply any form of shared governance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4683946
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