Towards Connected Governance: Citizens' Use of Web 2.0 in Nigeria

Towards Connected Governance: Citizens' Use of Web 2.0 in Nigeria

Kemi Ogunsola (University of Ibadan, Nigeria) and Temilade Precious Olojo (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4570-6.ch004
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Abstract

This contribution examines the factors (performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and trust) that influence continuance usage intention of Web 2.0 by citizens. A questionnaire was administered to 311 users of Federal Inland Revenue Service and Federal Road Safety Commission's Facebook and Twitter pages in Lagos and Ibadan in Nigeria. Descriptive analyses were used to answer three research questions, while linear regression was used to test seven research hypotheses stated in the study. Findings reveal that there is a significant joint influence of performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and social influence on citizens' continuance usage intention of Web 2.0. There is also a significant joint influence relating to trust in the internet and the government on citizens' continuance usage intention of Web 2.0. Among others, the study recommends that government agencies should engage citizens more in public decisions making processes through the use of Web 2.0-related applications.
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Introduction

A huge amount of transformation has taken place towards the development of connected governments, in this twenty-first century, and this has positively affected nearly every sector of the society. Majority of these transformations have been attributed to the adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT) in which the Internet is a key component (Sarkar, 2012). ICT has brought about efficiency, effectiveness and openness into tasks that were previously usually manually done (Mergel, 2009). As a result of the efficiency and effectiveness due to the latest technologies, most governments have chosen to adopt their use in governance and governmental processes which have brought about electronic government or e-government (Kolsaker & Lee-Kelley, 2008). E-government has been referred to as the interaction between governments and citizens through the application of electronic means (Alaa-Aldin, 2015). E-government has become a fast delivery mode of government services to citizens anytime, anywhere and on-demand (Ogunsola & Tiamiyu, 2017).

In the quest for getting closer to its citizens and interacting better with them, many countries such as United States of America, Sweden, Norway, UK, and Canada have moved from just e-government with basic functionality to a more connected form of governance, whereby they make use of series of Web 2.0 applications and tools for governance related processes (Chatfield & Alhujran, 2009). Web 2.0 can be said to be a new way of utilizing the World Wide Web as a platform in which individuals alone do not just create or publish the content and applications, but they all also collaborate in many diverse ways (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Web 2.0 technologies refer to social networking services such as Facebook and MySpace, sharing platforms such as YouTube, Flickr, wikis, blogs, microblogs (Twitter), and mashups (Bertot, Jaeger, Munson and Glaisyer, 2010). When the governments make use of the Web 2.0 related applications and technologies in sharing information and interacting with citizens, it is then usually referred to as government 2.0.

Mergel (2012) referred to government 2.0 as the use of social networking platforms, content creation and sharing tools, blogs, and microblogging tools within government organizations and for interaction with citizens. Government 2.0 focuses on modifying the static and rigid structure of government services to a more dynamic and interactive one, thereby improving the quality of services provided by the government, resulting in a higher level of transparency and connectivity with the citizens (Rawan, 2013). Mergel (2013) further noted that government 2.0 provides a platform that allows citizens' input to be integrated into the decision-making processes, and increase transparency through the transfer of information. This is one of the uttermost reasons why many countries adopted these kinds of platforms for better governance (Alaa-Aldin & Al Athmay, 2015).

However, despite the emergence of this trend, identifying and attracting an audience for the use of Web 2.0 has proved to be a significant challenge, especially when identifying those critical factors that influence citizens’ usage and adoption (Coskuncay, 2013). As such, several models exist concerning e-government technology adoption such as Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and so on.

In the present study, the UTAUT model was adopted to investigate the factors influencing citizens’ continuance usage intention of Web 2.0. UTAUT posits that a user’s intention to use a particular technology is affected mainly by the following factors (Alshafi, 2009):

  • Performance expectancy

  • Effort expectancy

  • Social influence.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Web 2.0: Web 2.0 is the term used to describe a variety of websites and applications that are dynamic, that allows anyone to create and share online information or material they have created. A key element of the technology is that it allows people to create, share, collaborate and communicate.

Continuance Usage Intention: A consumer’s intention to subscribe to and continue using a particular system e.g. Web 2.0. It is referred to as measuring the strength of an individual to act.

Facebook: Facebook is a popular and freely available social networking application that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos, and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues.

Social media: Social media refers to website applications and Web 2.0 based tools that are designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. It also refers to forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, and personal messages.

Twitter: It is an American microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interacts through messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.

FIRS: A federal government establishment charged with tax administration in Nigeria. Its vision is to deliver quality service to taxpayers in partnership with other stakeholders and make taxation the pivot of national development.

Social Networks: These are web-based applications that focus on creating communities of individuals with shared interests, providing numerous methods of interaction between network participants. Popular social networks include Facebook, Friendster, Orkut, WhatsApp, and MySpace.

E-Government: This is the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to government functions and procedures to increase efficiency and transparency of its services, and to allow citizen participation in its functioning.

Social Influence: It refers to how individuals change their behavior to meet the demands of a social environment. Under such influence, people alter their attitudes and behaviors in response to what they perceive others might do or think.

Nigeria: Nigeria is a country in Western Africa, a modern state originated from British colonial rule at the beginning in the 19th century. It took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914.

Effort Expectancy: This is the degree of simplicity associated with the use of a system (e.g. Web 2.0) or a process. This is based on the idea that there are relationships between the effort put forth at work, the performance achieved from that effort, and the rewards received from the effort.

FRSC: A federal government establishment in Nigeria, that has responsibility for regulations, enforcement, and coordination of road traffic and safety management activities through sustained public enlightenment, promotion of stakeholder's cooperation, robust data management, improved vehicle administration, prompt rescue services, and effective patrol operation.

Government Services: Government Services are services intended to serve all members of a community; it is usually provided by the government to people living within its jurisdiction. Examples are policing, health care and education.

Citizen: This refers to the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation.

Performance Expectancy: Performance expectancy refers to the belief that the use of a particular technology or method will, to some extent, be advantageous or performance enhancing to the individual.

Trust: This is defined as the extent to which a user relies on or have faith in a website/application to accomplish its expectations within a specific context for a particular task.

Social Networking Services: These are online platforms for creating relationships with other people who share an interest, background, or real relationship. Social networking service users create profiles with personal information, photos, and so on, and connect with other profiles.

Government 2.0: This is defined as the use of Web 2.0 applications and tools such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. by governments and their citizens in communicating and interacting with each other.

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