Social Media Policy for Transparency - A case study of the Ministry of Finance of Finland

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Social Media Policy for Transparency - A case study of the Ministry of Finance of Finland

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Social Media Policy for Transparency - A case study of the Ministry of Finance of Finland
Author(s) Rajainmäki, Minna
Date 2015
English abstract
2 / 46 Abstract Trend in governing has changed since the inception of the 21st century. New media technologies have forced governments to alter their attitudes on communication, transparency and the public sphere. While ideas of transparency and open government have spread in modern societies, there remains a burgeoning fear of losing control and privacy. The possibilities that new media present for misuse militate against creating more transparency. In this research, the transparency proposals of the Finnish government will be explored by studying the process of a new social media policy. The Ministry of Finance in Finland will serve as a case study. This paper raises and evaluates the following research question; what are the biggest obstacles hindering the process of open governance in Finland? The process of forming a policy report will be examined through a mix-method approach. Mixed method approach is applied in order to find out the greatest challenges on implementing the goals of open governance. The research will scrutinize the policy-making process, when a brand new social media policy paper of the Ministry of Finance is being launched. First, by conducting an interview (Attachment 1) with a program leader Ms. Katju Holkeri the progress and challenges of the Open Government Partnership Initiative will be examined. The study shows how the policy-making process starts from international level. Second, the attitudes of civil servants towards social media are being explored by sending out a questionnaire to civil servants of the Ministry of Finance (Attachment 2). Out of the 400 employees 114 took part in the questionnaire, so the received answers show comprehensively on what level the social media skills of the civil servants are. It will then be discussed if it has an effect on transparency. Finally a social media policy paper will be analysed to see if it outlines the ideologies of open governance. The study shows what kind of policy the Finnish authority has on the use of social media and open governance and whether individual civil servants are in support of this development. The Degree Project is thus going to be a policy research with a case study. It will describe the ideological perceptions on transparency on three levels: national, organizational and personal. The most significant findings of the study is that transparency is much more than advertising the activity of the officials, but the Finnish government does not have a clear strategy for it. In year 2015 the government is only about to launch the first social media plan for governmental use. True open governance would however offer insight into the decision-making processes and furnish opportunities for the public to participate. Despite recent criticism on transparency hype the research highlights the urge for open governance and an overall change in attitudes towards social media.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 46
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Open governance
Social media
Global North
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