Poster Paper: More Than Making Friends: The Effects of Agency Attitude on Social Media to Its Adoption and Actual Usage

Thursday, November 8, 2018
Exhibit Hall C - Exhibit Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Yun-Hsiang Hsu, National Central University and Hyungjo Hur, The Ohio State University

Researchers have noticed the discrepancy between the social media adoption and its actual usage by the government, but they disproportionally focused on the former. Most research treated social media as an innovation in public organizations and looked into why and how this adoption happens. However, the acceptance of social media by the agencies does not necessarily mean its interactive use will automatically occur. Almost every public agency has their public accounts on social media but the two-way communication between them and their audience is not guaranteed. Further, it would be overoptimistic to equal the adoption of a technology to the use of it when we consider the disruption social media might impose on the organizations. Organization culture, leadership, rules and regulations on social media could act as filters to moderate its usage in government at implantation stage. Privacy and ethical concerns may further complicate the decision when we apply social media for communication purpose. In this sense, how public managers or administrators perceive the risks or benefits associated with the use of social media could be more influential in determining the actual usage. The perception from the officers who are in charge may influence upon how the opinions on the platform is treated. This study consisted of 202 agencies from central and local government in Taiwan during year 2015. The survey population included 268 officers who are in charge of information technology, research, or planning in their agencies. We ask several questions about the respondent’s experience on managing their agency’s social media. A sets of Likert-type scale items is developed to measure perception from these officers, including their attitude toward the benefits and risks identified in the literature, and opinion about the organization’s capacity to govern social media. Factor analysis is used and two categories, which are the perception of benefit and risk, are suggested by the results. These two groups demonstrate clear differences in their capacity to govern social media and their use of it. The more positive attitude toward the benefit of social media use to the agencies, the higher their governance capacity and the more active they retrieve comments from social media. Results of this study will provide two management objectives in social media usages in public agency: 1) we need to properly understand the effects of perception of public managers or administrators influence on treating opinions on the platform, 2) according to the social media statistics, more citizen provide their opinion through social media than before. So public agencies need to address on how public organizations engage their staffs to foster a beneficial atmosphere in the first place so that their interaction with the public online could thus meaningful.