Yukon government, social media use and the contingency theory of communication
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Using the experiences of communication practitioners in a small Canadian territorial government, this research examines the use of social media as part of government communication using a contingency theory approach. Specifically, data collected through qualitative interviews examine how decisions are made to use social media as part of a communications strategy, what contingency factors affect how these messages are created and used, and what practitioners hope to accomplish in approaching relationships with stakeholders through social media. Social media use in Yukon Government was assessed by practitioners as tightly constrained by organizational structure and process, and facing challenges of limited staff, resources, and capacity to adapt to rapid change. The twelve contingency factors, cycle of conflict and contingency theory as a whole were found to be a useful analytical tool in a non-US government communication context, demonstrating that government communication practice can inform and be informed by general public relations theory.
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