The situational public engagement model in a municipal watershed protection program: information seeking, information sharing, and the use of organizational and social media

Joon Soo Lim, Cary A. Greenwood, Hua Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

In an extension of the situational theory of publics, we tested a situational engagement model to answer how situational factors affect public engagement via both communication behaviors and the use of social media and organizational media. As part of the evaluation of a collaborative stormwater outreach and education campaign, a campus-wide survey, assisted by a large public university's public affairs office, was conducted to identify key predictors of public engagement in a watershed protection program. A path analysis for the proposed situation engagement model revealed that problem recognition was the key to predicting both information seeking and sharing. The path analysis also yielded a significant association between communication behaviors and public engagement, mediated by the use of organizational media in seeking information on the issue. Further, the analysis showed a significant direct effect of involvement on engagement. The current study provided a preliminary framework that explains individuals' environmental behaviors in today's participatory and user-generating media environment. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-244
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Affairs
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations

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