This article addresses an important yet often neglected component of electronic civic engagement efforts: managerial ambivalence about public participation. We examine how managers’ beliefs about public participation and their perceived needs for participation in agency decision making work together to shape electronic engagement efforts. Based on observational data collected in 2010 and 2014 and data from a 2014 survey of managers in 500 U.S. municipal governments, we find that managerial beliefs about participation and their perceived needs for participation are two valid and separate constructs. There is a positive relationship between managerial beliefs and electronic engagement. Perceived needs for participation interact with managers’ beliefs to affect electronic civic engagement. A high level of perceived needs for participation reinforces the effect of managerial beliefs on electronic engagement efforts, but a low level does not offset the effect of managerial beliefs on electronic engagement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration