Research in government social media practices highlights expectations of co-creation and progression mirrored in maturity models, but research also documents low deployment degree and thereby points to a discrepancy. The paper suggests that the authors instead of co-creation and progression draw on a dialectical approach and understand the development of government social media practices as a wrestling with contradictions. The case of emerging social media practices in a Danish municipality used to illustrate this framework suggests three main categories of contradictions in emerging social media practices: Contradictions between service administration and community feeling as forms of practice, contradictions in organizing between local engagement and central control, and contradictions in the digital infrastructure between proprietary municipal websites and public social media platforms. The paper discusses if a paradox lens will enhance our understanding of inherent contradictions or the dialectical notion of contradiction serve the purpose. The paper contributes to a dialectical theory of contradictions through an analysis of emerging government social media practices.
International Journal of Electronic Government Research, 2014, Vol 10, Issue 1