Gobernanza Inteligente de las Redes Sociales Digitales en las Administraciones Locales de la Unión Europea. Estrategias de Implementación, Factores de Éxito y Modelos de Servicio Público en España, Países Bajos, Reino Unido y Suecia (#SocialGovNet)

Abstract: This proposed project (hereinafter, #SocialGovNet) stems from the growing interest in obtaining results regarding the adoption, use and dissemination of digital social media (ESM) in governments and local public administrations within the European Union.There is a general consensus in international literature on the rapid dissemination of DSM within public administrations at all levels of government. However, there is still much work to be done in order to understand the dynamics and implications of the process of adoption and use of this new generation of social technologies within the public sector in terms of transforming the management thereof and relationships with citizens (Bonson et al., 2015; Criado and Rojas-Martín, 2015a; Criado et al., 2013; Meijer & Thaens, 2013; Mergel, 2015a, 2015b; Mickoleit, 2014; Mossberger et al., 2013). Within this emerging epistemic community and with the experience obtained in recent years by the PI, #SocialGovNet has a firm commitment to position itself at the forefront of the international arena through the different objectives established, the innovative nature of the initiatives to be carried out and the expected results and impacts.

In terms of analysing DSM, it is important to address the reality to which they refer. In this project, DSM are understood to be microblogging tools (such as Twitter), multimedia (such as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo or Flickr), mobile apps, crowdsourcing platforms and challenges (such as Challenge.gov), general professional collaboration communities for public employees (such as GitHub or LinkedIn) or sector-related ones (GovLoop or NovaGob), open data portals (such as open.data.eu, datos.gob.es or data.gov), social messaging platforms via mobile devices (such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Line), mass social networking sites (such as Facebook), collaborative editor websites (such as Wikipedia), web applications that gather content from various sources with standardised metadata (RSS), among other tools (widgets, virtual worlds, labelling systems, etc. (Criado et al., 2013). Therefore, DSM are defined as a group of “Web 2.0 Internet-based applications that enable virtual communities to be created through the generation, connection, interaction and exchange of information from an unlimited group of people that share common interests" (Criado and Rojas-Martín, 2015b). In short, all these tools generate value based on their social aspect. 

Accordingly, the #SocialGovNet project will analyse the adoption, use and dissemination of more generalised DSM in governments and larger local governments in four European countries, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden, in order to achieve the following objectives: (1) understand the strategies of adopting DSM within public administrations and the institutionalisation process thereof, including the new public service dynamics and relationships with citizens; (2) identify the factors that explain the success of using DSM in public administrations based on organisational variables (structural), institutional variables (internal rules of the game) and socio-demographic/contextual variables; (3) update and verify the efficiency of emerging methodologies in order to measure the implications and results of DSM within public organisations; (4) and promote the development and transfer of knowledge and innovation in this area of research, including establishing greater collaboration between researchers, public organisations, management executives, social platform companies and optimising the dissemination of results. These objectives are outlined below, with the research questions and the main techniques for obtaining the associated data.