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Crises around the globe: a study into the intention to gather government information through social media during foreign crises

Maarse, Stefanie M. (2012) Crises around the globe: a study into the intention to gather government information through social media during foreign crises.

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Abstract:Social media is getting growing attention in crisis communication strategies. Scientific research into this field is mainly descriptive and consists of studies into the increased use of social media during crises. On behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs a quantitative survey is executed to investigate the perceptions of Dutch citizens. The main focus of this study was the question whether a crisis context influences perceptions concerning social media. Besides, the role van trust in the government organization and the effect on the intention to use social media to gather crisis information is investigated. The results of this study indicate that the crisis context affects citizens’ level of perceived information gathering capacity. Citizens feel less able to gather all information if the crisis takes place in a foreign context. During a foreign crisis, citizens perceive social media as more useful than traditional media, while during a domestic crisis social media are perceived equally as useful as traditional media. The intention to use social media during a foreign crisis is indirectly predicted by relational trust and confidence. Relational trust seems a more important predictor than confidence. Eventually, the perceived usefulness of social media is the only direct predictor of the intention to use social media in a foreign crisis context. This study contributes to a new research area. The conceptualization of social media and crisis communication needs attention in future research. For now, governments should start integrating social media into their crisis policy and building on relation trust with their citizens.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61681
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