Understanding the Interplay Between Government Microblogs and Citizen Engagement: Evidence from China

  • Lihua Wang
  • Xin LuoEmail author


Government microblogs have been used to provide information and increase communication with citizens. Despite increased attention on the development of government microblogs during the last several years, there is a lack of empirical evidence focusing on the nature of government activities enabled in microblogs and their effect on the citizens that use them. Utilizing the technology–organization–environment (TOE) theory and the literature on citizen engagement, this study examined the contextual antecedents of government activities in microblogs and further explored their relationship with citizen engagement. Based on data from 284 cities in China, our results showed that some of the TOE contextual factors had a positive influence on the level of government activity in microblogs. Furthermore, the level of government activity in microblogs was positively associated with the extent of citizen engagement. Results also indicated that satisfaction negatively moderated this relationship, but the moderating role of human capital was insignificant. Our findings contribute to the theoretical discourse by identifying contextual factors affecting the level of government activity in social media and provide practical implications on enhancing citizen engagement in implementing relevant government microblog initiatives.


Technology–organization–environment Government activity Government microblogs Satisfaction Human capital Citizen engagement 



This study was supported financially by the National Social Science Foundation of China (NSSF, 13CGL145).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and FinanceXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Anderson School of ManagementUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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