Measuring Social Media Diffusion in Local Governments from a Longitudinal Perspective: Adoption, Barriers, and Perceptions
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Public sector organizations have started to use digital social media as a management tool to improve the level of communication with the citizenry. Social media technologies have offered the opportunity for public administrations to receive, process, and use data and information from the political and social realms, and from their own public employees from a radically different approach. This chapter provides empirical data about the adoption, use and dissemination of social media in the Spanish local governments from a longitudinal perspective. Our research aims at answering four main research questions: (RQ1) What are the key reasons that explain social media adoption in public administrations? (RQ2) What is the perception of those in charge of social media management regarding the level of development in their institutions? (RQ3) What are the key inhibitors for the development of these technologies in local administrations? (RQ4) What is the evolution of utilization of social media technologies? For that purpose, our research is conducted by using a questionnaire aimed at those in charge of social media in Spanish local governments with over 50.000 inhabitants in two different time moments (2014 and 2016). Hence, by applying Roger’s framework of diffusion of innovations, descriptive results show that in spite of its high level of diffusion at local government, social media utilization is still at an early stage of implementation. The chapter also concludes with some suggestions for future research, emphasizing the importance of studying the adoption of social media in local government with a comparative and longitudinal perspective.
This work was supported by the BBVA Foundation Research Project “Smart Governance of Digital Social Media in Local Public Administrations in the European Union. Strategies of Implementation, Success Factors and Public Service Models in Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom” (#SocialGovNet) (IN_CJS_CCP_0190).
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