The paradox of the interactive web in the U.S. public sector

Ines A. Mergel, Charles M. Schweik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Web 2.0 technologies-what we prefer to call the "Interactive Web"-have become frequently used tools in the public sector. These tools include social networking applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikis, or RSS feeds. Public sector agencies are using blogs to communicate information on public hearings, wikis to coordinate work or share expertise and intelligence information, and social networking sites to communicate with citizens. These kinds of applications create a public sector paradox. On the one hand, they have the potential to create opportunities related to key public sector issues of transparency, accountability, communication and collaboration, and to promote deeper levels of civic engagement. On the other hand, information flow within government, across government agencies, and between government and the public is often highly restricted through regulations and specific reporting structures, and therefore usually delayed through the filter of bureaucratic constraints. The authors provide an overview of drivers encouraging the adoption of Interactive Web applications, but also transformative organizational, technological, and informational challenges ahead that might lead to resistance to that change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIT Policy and Ethics
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781466629202
ISBN (Print)1466629193, 9781466629196
StatePublished - Feb 28 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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