Choosing the Right Medium for Municipal eParticipation Based on Stakeholder Expectations

  • Marius Rohde Johannessen
  • Leif Skiftenes Flak
  • Øystein Sæbø
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7444)


This paper examines the expectations and communication needs of relevant stakeholder groups for municipal eParticipation in a small Norwegian municipality. We identified relevant stakeholder groups with the municipality, and asked them about their communication preferences through a combined Delphi study and survey approach. The findings show that information about local issues, information about issues relevant for the individual stakeholder, and dialogue on business’ needs and employment are the three most important communication needs. E-mail and the municipal web site are the two preferred modes of communication, with social media ranking third. For dialogue and participation, a face to face meeting is the preferred mode of communication. Our findings show that effective municipal communication requires a number of different media, depending on what is being communicated. We conclude by outlining a framework for media choice in eParticipation.


eParticipation stakeholder theory social media media choice 


  1. 1.
    Kitchin, R.: Cyberspace: The world in the wires. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (1998)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kjensli, H., et al.: eKommune 2012: Lokal digital agenda. Oslo, Kommuneforlaget AS (2008)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mazzoleni, G., Schulz, W.: “Mediatization” of politics: A challenge for democracy? Political Communication 16(3), 247–261 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gurevitch, M., Coleman, S., Blumler, J.G.: Political communication -old and new media relationships. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 625(1), 164–181 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ebbers, W.E., Pieterson, W.J., Noordman, H.N.: Electronic government: Rethinking channel management strategies. Government Information Quarterly 25(2), 181–201 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gastil, J., Dillard, J.P.: Increasing political sophistication through public deliberation. Political Communication 16(1), 3–23 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Davis, A.: New media and fat democracy: The paradox of online participation. New Media and Society 12(5), 745–761 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carr, D.S., Halvorsen, K.: An Evaluation of Three Democratic, Community-Based Approaches to Citizen Participation: Surveys, Conversations With Community Groups, and Community Dinners. Society & Natural Resources 14(2), 107–126 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rayner, S.: Democracy in the age of assessment: Reflections on the roles of expertise and democracy in public-sector decision making. Science and Public Policy 30(3), 163–170 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jackson, N.A., Lilleker, D.G.: Building an Architecture of Participation? Political Parties and Web 2.0 in Britain. Journal of Information Technology and Politics 6(3), 232–250 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Johannessen, M.R., Munkvold, B.E.: Defining the IT Artefact in Social Media for eParticipation: An emsemble view. In: European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS, Barcelona (2012)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tambouris, E., Liotas, N., Tarabanis, K.: A Framework for Assessing eParticipation Projects and Tools. In: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rose, J., Sæbø, Ø.: Designing Deliberation Systems. The Information Society 26(3), 228–240 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yates, J., Orlikowski, W.J.: Genres of Organizational Communication: A Structurational Approach to Studying Communication and Media. The Academy of Management Review 17(2), 299–326 (1992)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Orlikowski, W.J., Yates, J.: Genre Repetoire: The Structuring of Communicative Practices in Organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 39(4), 541–574 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shepherd, M., Watters, C.: The evolution of cybergenres. In: Proceedings of the Thirty-First Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (1998)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yates, J., Orlikowski, W.: Genre Systems: Structuring Interaction through Communicative Norms. Journal of Business Communication 39(1), 13–35 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Päivärinta, T., Sæbø, Ø.: The Genre System Lens on E-Democracy. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 20(2) (2008)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sæbø, Ø., Flak, L.S., Sein, M.K.: Understanding the dynamics in e-Participation initiatives: Looking through the genre and stakeholder lenses. Government Information Quarterly 28(3), 416–425 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sæbø, Ø.: Understanding twitterTM use among parliament representatives: A genre analysis. In: Tambouris, E., Macintosh, A., de Bruijn, H. (eds.) ePart 2011. LNCS, vol. 6847, pp. 1–12. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rose, J., Sæbø, Ø.: Democracy Squared: designing on-line political communities to accommodate conflicting interests (2005)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Päivärinta, T., Halttunen, V., Tyrväinen, P.: A Genre-Based Method for Information Systems Planning. In: Rossi, M., Siau, K. (eds.) Information Modeling in the New Millenium, pp. 70–93. Idea Group Publishing, Hershey (2001)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Haraldsen, M., et al.: Developing e-Government Portals: From Life-Events through Genres to Requirements. In: The 11th Norwegian Conference on Information Systems (NOKOBIT), Stavanger, Norway (2004)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mingers, J.: Combining IS Research Methods: Towards a Pluralist Methodology. Info. Sys. Research 12(3), 240–259 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Freeman, R.E.: Strategic Management. A Stakeholder Approach. Pitman, Boston (1984)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Flak, L.S., Rose, J.: Stakeholder Governance: Adapting Stakeholder Theory to the e-Government Field. Communications of the Association for Information Systems 16, 642–664 (2005)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Scholl, H.J.: Involving Salient Stakeholders. Action Research 2(3) (2004)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Okoli, C., Pawlowski, S.D.: The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications. Information and Management 42(1), 15–29 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schmidt, R.C.: Managing Delphi Surveys Using Nonparametric Statistical Techniques. Decision Sciences 28(3), 763–774 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rayens, M.K., Hahn, E.J.: Building Consensus Using the Policy Delphi Method. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice 1(4), 308–315 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Päivärinta, T., Dertz, W.: Pre-determinants of Implementing IT Benefits Management in Norwegian Municipalities: Cultivate the Context. In: Wimmer, M.A., Scholl, H.J., Ferro, E. (eds.) EGOV 2008. LNCS, vol. 5184, pp. 111–123. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Grönlund, Å., Ranerup, A.: Elektronisk förvaltning, elektronisk demokrati: visioner, verklighet, vidareutveckling. Studentlitteratur, Lund (2001)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sæbø, Ø., Rose, J., Skiftenes Flak, L.: The shape of eParticipation: Characterizing an emerging research area. Government Information Quarterly 25(3), 400–428 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marius Rohde Johannessen
    • 1
  • Leif Skiftenes Flak
    • 1
  • Øystein Sæbø
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information SystemsUniversity of AgderKristiansandNorway

Personalised recommendations