The Playful Police: The Role of Social Media in Public Institutions’ Legitimacy Work
2015 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Public authorities are rarely associated with creativity and playfulness. Rather, it can be threatening civic legitimacy. With the introduction of social media, a new channel opens possibilities for officers to meet the public and interact in more personal and creative ways than previously. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, have become important in people’s everyday lives as well as for organizational use. These technologies encourage self-expression, and allow users to create and share content, to comment and show appreciation or dislike of content. It also makes social networks visible. For public authorities, social media is a double-edged sword. It is a promising technology for dialogue with the citizens, but it may also facilitate the mobilization and coordination of criticism from the public. This is due to the dynamics and disruption afforded by the social media platforms. With the Swedish police officers’ Facebook interaction as empirical setting, the aim of this paper is to discuss how the increased use of social media affects the police’s legitimacy work. The study contributes with a deeper understanding of the interplay between social media and competing value logics in the context of public authorities, as it highlights the institutional tensions between official authority and playfulness. The empirical example of the police is used to show how social media creates new possibilities for creativity and playfulness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Information Systems, Social aspects
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-29895OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-29895DiVA: diva2:877311
10th Organization Studies Workshop, Chania, Crete, Greece, 21-23 May, 2015
FunderForte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare