Examining social capital and individual motivators to explain the adoption of online citizen participation
Future generations computer systems
h i g h l i g h t s • Social capital in the community plays a key role for the adoption of e-participation. • Males are more willing than females to increase their actual usage of e-participation. • Social influence, reputation, and reciprocity were not significant for e-participation usage at city level. • Local governments should promote how e-participation brings benefits for the community. • Local government should highlight and praise the effort devoted by participants. a b s t r a c t
... a b s t r a c t Online citizen public participation in consultation and decision-oriented processes supported by local governments is a key ingredient for successful digital democracy. As the participatory process is a voluntary activity, social capital, and individual motivation can help to understand citizen engagement in the usage of electronic participatory platforms (e-participation). This study presents and discusses the results of a research model evaluated with 200 respondents who experienced e-participation. The research model integrates a well-known theory of information systems, UTAUT, with the social capital theory, and the individual motivators. We found that, besides the positive effects of UTAUT constructs, such as perceived usefulness, effort expectancy, and facilitating conditions on the intention to use eparticipation; altruism also plays a role as a driver of the intention to use. Social capital partially impacts on the actual usage of e-participation.