Advertisement

The Use of Social Media in the Public Sector: Some Lessons from the Netherlands

  • Dennis de KoolEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 5)

Abstract

Under the label of E-government, governments are undertaking different activities that are directly related to the development of the modern information society. In this chapter, we will focus on a specific communicative challenge of E-government, namely, the use of social media tools by civil servants. Social media are rapidly penetrating the modern information society. This new generation of digital applications emphasizes the importance of user-participation, content-sharing, and accessible communication. Both companies and governmental agencies are exploring carefully the possibilities of social media to communicate with customers or citizens. An important reason is the assumption that the use of social media can result in governments that operate more effectively and efficiently. However, for civil servants the utilization of social media brings both challenges and risks. This chapter analyzes the challenges, risks, and dilemmas of social media for Dutch civil servants. The theoretical framework that is used consists of a “classical” and a “modern” approach to civil servants. In the classical “Weberian” model, politicians are responsible for policy making (and communication about it) and civil servants have to implement policies (“the primacy of politics”). This “principal” approach implies a limited role of civil servants in the virtual world of social media. On the other hand, the “modern” approach to civil servants highlights the professional expertise and distinctive responsibilities of civil servants. The “pragmatic” approach leaves more space for active participation of civil servants on the Internet. For this reason, a fundamental reflection about the primacy of politics, the role of governmental communication, and the culture in the new social media landscape is necessary.

Keywords

Social Medium Civil Servant Virtual World Online Communication Public Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Anthopoulos LG, Siozos P, Tsoukalas IA (2007) Applying participatory design and collaboration in digital public services for discovering and re-designing e-government services. Gov Inf Q 24(2):353–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beer D, Burrows R (2007) Sociology and, of and in Web 2.0: some initial considerations. http://www.socresonline.org.uk/12/5/17.html
  3. Bekkers VJJM, Homburg VMF (eds) (2005) The information ecology of E-government: E-government as institutional and technological innovation in public administration. IOS, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  4. Bekkers VJJM, Edwards AR, Moody R, Beunders H (2011) Caught by surprise? Micro-mobilization, new media and the management of strategic surprises. Public Manag Rev 13(7):1003–1021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boulos MN, Wheelert S (2007) The emerging Web 2.0 social software: an enabling suite of sociable technologies in health and health care education. Health Info Libr J 24:2–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bovens MAP, ‘t Hart P, van Twist MJW, Rosenthal U (2001) Openbaar bestuur: beleid, organisatie en politiek, 6th edn. Kluwer, Alphen aan den RijnGoogle Scholar
  7. Carr N (2005) The amorality of Web 2.0, Nicolas Carr’s Blog. http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2005/10/the_amorality_o.php
  8. Chadwick A (2009) Web 2.0. New challenges for the study of e-democracy in an era of informational exuberance. I/S: J Law Policy Inf Soc 5:9–41Google Scholar
  9. Commissie ‘Project X’ Haren (2013) Twee werelden: you only live once (Commissie Cohen)Google Scholar
  10. de Kool D (2010) Ambtenaren en sociale media: een onderzoek naar de kansen en risico’s van online activiteiten voor ambtenaren. Center for Public Innovation, RotterdamGoogle Scholar
  11. de Kool D, van Wamelen J (2008) De impact van Web 2.0 op de kennissamenleving. In: Alberts G (ed) Burger in uitvoering: Jaarboek KennisSamenleving. Aksant, Amsterdam, pp 288–305Google Scholar
  12. De Volkskrant (2009) Ambtenaar moet meepraten op internet, 5 DecemberGoogle Scholar
  13. Eggers WD (2007) Government 2.0: using technology to improve education, cut red tape, reduce gridlock, and enhance democracy. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MDGoogle Scholar
  14. Fensel D, Leiter B, Stavrakantonakis I (2012) Social media monitoring. Semantic Technology Institute, InnsbruckGoogle Scholar
  15. Frissen V et al (2008) Naar een ‘User Generated State’? De impact van nieuwe media voor overheid en openbaar bestuur. TNO, DelftGoogle Scholar
  16. Gemeente Heemstede (2010) Richtlijnen gebruik sociale media binnen de gemeente Heemstede. HeemstedeGoogle Scholar
  17. Glascow K, Fink C (2013) From push brooms to prayer books: social media and social networks during the London riots. In: iConference 2013 proceedings, pp 155–169Google Scholar
  18. Hupe P (2007) Overheidsbeleid als politiek: over de grondslagen van beleid. Van Gorcum, AsseenGoogle Scholar
  19. Linders D (2012) From e-government to we-government: defining a typology for citizen coproduction in the age of social media. Gov Inf Q 29:446–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lyon D (2001) Surveillance society: monitoring everyday life. Open University Press, BuckinghamGoogle Scholar
  21. Manyika J (2011) Big data: the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. McKinsey Global Institute, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  22. Ministerie van Algemene Zaken (2009) Ondertussen…online. Hoe de overheid kan inspelen op het veranderende medialandschap. Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, Den HaagGoogle Scholar
  23. Ministerie van Binnenlandse en Koninkrijksrelaties (2009a) Het nieuwe werken bij het rijk. Van de oude werken De dingen Die Voorbijgaan. Programma Vernieuwing Rijksdienst, Den HaagGoogle Scholar
  24. Ministerie van Binnenlandse en Koninkrijksrelaties (2009b) Handreiking Modelgedragscode Integriteit Sector Rijk. Bureau Integriteitsbevordering Openbare Sector, Den HaagGoogle Scholar
  25. O’Reilly T (2007) What is Web 2.0: design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Commun Strateg 65:17–37Google Scholar
  26. Pascu C, Osimo D, Ulrich M, Torlea D, Burgelman JC (2007) The potential disruptive impact of Internet 2 based technologies. First Monday. Zie: www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_3/pascu/
  27. Provincie Overijssel (2010) Richtlijnen Social Media. http://www.overijssel.nl/overijssel/huis-stijl-overijssel/richtlijnen-social/
  28. Raad voor het Openbaar Bestuur (2010) Vertrouwen op democratie, Den Haag.Google Scholar
  29. Reddick CG, Aikins SK (eds) (2012) Web 2.0 technologies and democratic governance: political, policy and management implications. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Schwartz B (2004) Paradox of choices: why more is less. Reed, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith T (2009) The social media revolution. Int J Mark Res 51:559–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Social Embassy (2011) Social media monitor 4. AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  33. Surowiecki J (2004) The wisdom of crowds: why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies, and nations. Doubleday, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. ‘t Hart P et al (2002) Politiek-ambtelijke verhoudingen in beweging. Boom, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  35. van Noort G, Willemsen LM (2011) Online damage control: the effects of proactive versus reactive webcare interventions in consumer-generated and brand-generated platforms. J Interact Mark 26:131–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Voorlichtingsraad (2010) Uitgangspunten online communicatie rijksambtenaren. Ministerie van Algemene Zaken, Den HaagGoogle Scholar
  37. Wyld DC (2007) The blogging revolution: government in the age of Web 2.0. In: E-Government Series. IBM Center for The Business of Government, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. Yiu C (2012) The big data opportunity: making government faster, smarter and more personal. Policy Exchange (report), LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Erasmus University Rotterdam, Center for Public InnovationRotterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations