Title: Achieving government-citizen dialogue in Arab nations via social media: contextual considerations

Authors: Hamed Al Nomani; Eric Deakins; Stuart Dillon; Gottfried Vossen

Addresses: Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Higher Education, P.O. Box 82, Ruwi, Postal Code 112, Sultanate of Oman ' Department of Management Systems, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand ' Department of Management Systems, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand ' Department of Management Systems, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand; Department of Information Systems, University of Münster, Leonardo-Campus 3, 48149 Münster, Germany

Abstract: Recent Middle Eastern developments illustrate how online social media can transform political discourse. However, little is known about how Arab governments choose to implement such applications. This research investigates contextual issues confronting government organisations and citizens when they decide whether to engage in meaningful dialogue using social media. A robust multi-method research design provides for a literature-derived framework to be refined in light of Oman-based case studies and participatory action research. Findings at the national level of enquiry indicate that strong influencers of social media acceptance for Arab government organisations and citizens are legislation and broadband availability. On the organisation side, financial, political and technical support is also essential. On the citizen side, digital divide issues concerning the high cost of services and lack of social media awareness and skills, plus two uniquely Arab concerns (criticism culture and dialogue culture) strongly influence citizen acceptance of government-led social media initiatives.

Keywords: Arab governments; criticism culture; dialogue culture; digital divide; e-government; electronic government; government services; information systems acceptance; national culture; political discourse; social media; Middle East; citizen acceptance.

DOI: 10.1504/EG.2016.080439

Electronic Government, an International Journal, 2016 Vol.12 No.4, pp.357 - 374

Accepted: 28 Aug 2016
Published online: 22 Nov 2016 *

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