Governments’ Social Media Use for External Collaboration: Juggling Time, Task, Team, and Transition, with Technology

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: As social media technologies permeate public life, the current forms of collaboration between government and non-government stakeholders are changing. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how social media use reconfigures the organizing practices around such collaboration. A case study of a collaborative e-government project showcases how emergent organizing practices through external social media differ from existing ones along the dimensions of time, task, team, and transition.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a case study of a collaborative e-government project on open data, organized by Shanghai Municipality, local businesses, universities, and NGOs, using an external social media platform, WeChat. Adopting the theoretical lens of temporary organization, the paper identifies the key aspects of change emerged in the organizing practices of this collaboration.
Findings: The findings outline how the use of external social media reconfigures the collaboration between government and non-government stakeholders along the four dimensions of time, task, team, and transition. The new form of collaboration is reconfigured along the lines of: an ad-hoc and non-linear management of time; Discursive task creation, assignment and engagement among stakeholders; a serendipitous engagement of team members based on expertise; and (4) shifiting formal and informal organizing practices.
Originality/value: This paper provides insights on the use of external social media for collaboration in e-government research, and develops the concept of temporary organization in a sociomaterial setting. It also provides practical suggestions on how to manage new forms of public projects leveraging on the capacity of external social media.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransforming Government
Volume11
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)572-592
ISSN1750-6166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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