Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Computing and Information Technology


Public value represents the net benefits created by government for various stakeholders in society. Hence public value often includes both economic value and social value. While economic value includes efficiency gains and reduced costs of operating public programs, social value (or socially oriented value) can encompass intangible benefits such as government transparency, government accountability, citizens’ trust in government and public safety. The open government initiatives across the world have stimulated wide adoption and use of social media platforms by governments at all levels which can change the relationships and interactions between government and the public. Through the use of social media platforms by government, the public can be more directly involved in the public service delivery and policy making. Hence, social media can be used as a strategic tool in alignment with government performance goals to create public value. Despite the emerging research on the public value creation through social media use, however, the literature lacks a theoretical framework for explaining how the public value can be created through the strategic use of social media by government.

Therefore, this study addresses a central research question: How does the government create public value through social media use? To answer this question, an extensive systematic literature review was undertaken to identify factors influencing public value creation by governments through the use of social media. A research model was developed which draws on the Integrative Model of IT Business Value (Melville et al. 2004). This study employed a sequential exploratory mixed methods approach by undertaking case study research in the first phase and an online survey in the second phase. The case study research analyzed government Twitter data and conducted case interviews with a senior manager or an operational manager from ten disaster management agencies in Indonesia. The online survey obtained 124 usable responses (an 18% return rate) from social media team members of Indonesian disaster management agencies.

Within-case and cross-case analysis of the case study results were used to develop instruments for the online survey and to provide completeness to the online survey results. A structural equation modelling tool (PLS-SEM) was used to assess the online survey results. Meta-inferences analysis of the case study findings and online survey results suggest that at the organizational level, public value creation is positively influenced by a value creation process that comprises social media use, social media policy, an innovative organizational culture, communication, and disaster management. The results also suggest the full mediating role of public’s co-production on the relationship between the value creation process and public value creation. The model indicates that 47.6% of the variance of public value creation is explained by the model constructs.

At the process level, disaster management performance is positively influenced, indirectly through communication, by social media use and social media policy, but not by innovative organizational culture. The model explains 39% of the variance of the constructs. This study has practical implications for government in regards to the importance of the strategic use of social media, social media policy and innovative organizational culture in order to realize the expected public value creation through social media use. Specifically in the value creation process, the results of this study strongly suggest the complementary role of social media policy to the strategic use of social media for improving the disaster communication and disaster management.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.