Achieve world-class through soclai media: A study of Örnsköldsvik's municipality's citizen participation
Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Are you aware of the changes taking place where you live? Have you ever thought: “I want to change that and make my voice heard?” But how do you get a hold of the decision makers, and if you do, would anyone listen? These are questions that an operational team of Örnsköldsvik’s municipality has considered. This operation is named Världsklass 2015 and is a development work and a platform where the citizens together can contribute to Örnsköldsvik’s future growth in an increasingly competitive world. Our degree project is conducted towards this operation within Örnsköldsvik’s municipality. Världsklass 2015 team’s task has, among other things, been to increase transparency and responsiveness between the municipality and its citizens. But which media should be used to reach the inhabitants?
Social media has been on the rise the last decade and with it the power relation between companies and customers has changed. Through social media customers have been empowered. The main purpose of this degree project is to examine a municipality’s citizen participation within a particular operation with help of social media. Citizen participation can be achieved by building a stronger relationship between the municipality and its citizens and improving the two-way communication. We have chosen to look at citizen involvement from a view of the competitive business environment, where it is crucial to maintain a good relationship with its customers. Our conclusions aim to function as a framework in the municipality’s on-going development of strategies regarding social media and citizen participation. Our research question is formulated as such:
How can a municipality create participation among citizens via social media for a development operation?
Our research question is answered through four sub-purposes. With these sub-purposes we analyse our findings, where the conceptual framework later on is developed into key insights. We use these to formulate our recommendations to Världsklass 2015 who then can utilize them to improve their communication and relationship to the citizens. We have chosen to use a mixed-methods approach to reach the citizens and to collect relevant data from representatives of the municipality. Our qualitative research is based on three semi-structured interviews with the municipality’s employees, the manager of the information department at the municipal administration, the web manager and the manager of Världsklass 2015. In the quantitative study we received 84 survey responses from the citizens. The analysis and conclusion of our empirical findings will be validated through relevant theories on relationship marketing, customer involvement, relationship marketing, citizen participation, CSR-strategies and e-government.
The main conclusion from this degree project is that the municipality of Örnsköldsvik has realized that it is important to have a purpose in the use of social media. We can confirm a strong interest from the citizens regarding the municipality’s existence in social media. Further they need to improve their two-way communication and encourage the citizens to participate in the municipality’s social media forums to improve citizen participation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 92 p.
Social Media, E-government, municipality, web 2.0
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-73691OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-73691DiVA: diva2:633218
International Business Program
2013-05-29, 206, Umeå university School of business 90187, Umeå, 14:06 (English)
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law