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Informal networking in the public sector: Mapping local government debates in a period of austerity

De Widt, Dennis ORCID: and Panagiotopoulos, Panos 2018. Informal networking in the public sector: Mapping local government debates in a period of austerity. Government Information Quarterly 35 (3) , pp. 375-388. 10.1016/j.giq.2018.05.004

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Studies in digital government research have not sufficiently considered the internal networking aspects of social media beyond interactions with the public. This article examines the function of social media as informal networks of professional practice within the public sector. The empirical study is based on a longitudinal analysis of the Twitter hashtag community #localgov used by British local government actors (dataset of 235,681 tweets posted within 2013–2015). In a period of significant budget reductions, Twitter conversations involved a wide range of responses about the impact of the cuts and future of services. #Localgov shows high level of cross-service exchanges in the institutional sharing of good practice while the dynamics of interaction reflect the traditional landscape of intergovernmental relationships in England. We argue about the importance and characteristics of hashtag communities like #localgov as spaces that bring together different actors with a public sector interest.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0740-624X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 22 May 2018
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 06:19

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