e-Government Study Group of the 2012 EGPA Conference

The accepted papers for the e-Government Study Group of the 2012 EGPA Conference are already available here. My contribution is a study (co-authored with Francisco Rojas-Martín) with the title: Strategies and realities of social media diffusion in the public sector. Evidence from the regional level of government in Spain. You may access the paper directly here. I hope you may enjoy this contribution to this emergent topic. Also, I do hope you may send us comments and ideas for future developments. They are always welcomed. I attach below the abstract of the paper.

This paper aims to respond to two research questions in relation to the development of Web 2.0 tools in the public administration: What are the main strategies put forward for the promotion of social media? What is the level of development in the process of implementation of social media? This paper investigates the diffusion of social media by the Spanish regional level of government: the extent to which public administrations follow some type of policy and/or explicit formalised strategy; years of use and the quantitative dimension of the teams that manage them; the existence of user guides that normalise the criteria for their correct use, the specific social media that administrations employ, among other dimensions. This paper is based on a questionnaire that was responded to by those responsible for the management of social media in the Spanish regional administrations.

This research shows that Web 2.0 tools are not yet strategically designed. Conversely, they require further developments to fulfill all their potential. Accordingly, the implementation of social media in government seems to be in its infancy. On the one hand, they are more focused on exploring potential changes in the relations between the public administrations and citizens, than to innovate the functioning of public sector organisations. On the other, the short number of years using this type of tools, the lack of user guides that normalize the criteria for their correct utilization, or the limited teams of people that manage them confirm the preliminary stage of application of social media in public bureaucracies. In sum, this paper offers a relevant analysis, although it is of an exploratory character because of the scarcity of systematic studies about the diffusion of social media within public administrations around the world.



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