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Citizen Involvement is the New Black: A qualitative case study of large and small municipalities’ social media use

Blauenfeldt, Anne LU (2017) SKPM08 20171
Department of Strategic Communication
Abstract (Swedish)
Since the inception of social media, an increasing number of studies have investigated how social media is used the local government level, particularly in light of its perceived democratic potential. Although studies have mainly focused on examining local governments’ social media communication, some research argue that it is the organisational structures and practices of local governments affect how local governments use social media. From this perspective, larger local
governments are widely believed to be more innovative and engage citizens than
smaller sized municipalities; on the contrary, in the practical literature, it is suggested that smaller sized local governments are more successful than their larger counterparts. From a... (More)
Since the inception of social media, an increasing number of studies have investigated how social media is used the local government level, particularly in light of its perceived democratic potential. Although studies have mainly focused on examining local governments’ social media communication, some research argue that it is the organisational structures and practices of local governments affect how local governments use social media. From this perspective, larger local
governments are widely believed to be more innovative and engage citizens than
smaller sized municipalities; on the contrary, in the practical literature, it is suggested that smaller sized local governments are more successful than their larger counterparts. From a public relations perspective using Kent and Taylor’s (1998, 2002, 2014) theory of dialogue, this study takes a multiple case study approach to investigate to what extent small and large municipality’s use social media in order to increase democratic participation as well as how their organisational structures and practices affect their communication with citizens. Results showed that although both municipalities did not view social media as a platform for political involvement of their citizens but as platforms to manage their image, it was only the smaller municipality that engaged in dialogue on a political level with its citizens. This dialogue, it is argued, was enabled by the support and involvement of the organisations higher-level management and political leadership, which was not present in the larger municipality. It is argued that without the involvement and support of the political leadership, social media is destined to being used as an image management and information dissemination channel with little, if any, political involvement. (Less)
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author
Blauenfeldt, Anne LU
supervisor
organization
course
SKPM08 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Social media, democracy, citizen involvement, dialogue, municipality, local government, public relations
language
English
id
8925977
date added to LUP
2018-01-10 09:06:59
date last changed
2018-01-10 09:06:59
@misc{8925977,
  abstract     = {Since the inception of social media, an increasing number of studies have investigated how social media is used the local government level, particularly in light of its perceived democratic potential. Although studies have mainly focused on examining local governments’ social media communication, some research argue that it is the organisational structures and practices of local governments affect how local governments use social media. From this perspective, larger local 
governments are widely believed to be more innovative and engage citizens than 
smaller sized municipalities; on the contrary, in the practical literature, it is suggested that smaller sized local governments are more successful than their larger counterparts. From a public relations perspective using Kent and Taylor’s (1998, 2002, 2014) theory of dialogue, this study takes a multiple case study approach to investigate to what extent small and large municipality’s use social media in order to increase democratic participation as well as how their organisational structures and practices affect their communication with citizens. Results showed that although both municipalities did not view social media as a platform for political involvement of their citizens but as platforms to manage their image, it was only the smaller municipality that engaged in dialogue on a political level with its citizens. This dialogue, it is argued, was enabled by the support and involvement of the organisations higher-level management and political leadership, which was not present in the larger municipality. It is argued that without the involvement and support of the political leadership, social media is destined to being used as an image management and information dissemination channel with little, if any, political involvement.},
  author       = {Blauenfeldt, Anne},
  keyword      = {Social media,democracy,citizen involvement,dialogue,municipality,local government,public relations},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Citizen Involvement is the New Black: A qualitative case study of large and small municipalities’ social media use},
  year         = {2017},
}