The government has included social media technology applications in the public sector as part of the fifth wave of information and communications technology adoption. Academic interest in social media in the government sector has been increasing. But there has been little empirical research on the assimilation of social media in the local government. To fill this gap, based on technology–organization–environment (TOE) framework, this study aims to investigate the key technological, organizational and environmental factors that affect the assimilation of social media in local government agencies.
To empirically test the model, a survey study was conducted. Data were collected from 150 government employees in the government department of X municipal government in China. The collected data were analysed quantitatively to answer five hypotheses using structural equation model.
The findings suggest that technology competence, top management support, perceived benefits and citizen readiness significantly influence assimilation of social media in local government agencies. Top management support is the strongest predictor of social media assimilation in a government agency.
This study is one of the first attempts that adopted the TOE framework to understand assimilation of social media in the local government. In addition, the effect of the four factors that include one technological factor, two organizational factors and one environmental factor, namely, technology competence, top management support, perceived benefits and citizen readiness, on intention to assimilate social media was investigated.
This paper is supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2014WA07). The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the earlier version of the article and the editors of The Electronic Library.
Zhang, H. and Xiao, J. (2017), "Assimilation of social media in local government: an examination of key drivers", The Electronic Library, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 427-444. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-09-2016-0182
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