The Communities of Practice model for understanding digital engagement by hyperlocal elected representatives
Ryan, B. (2015). The Communities of Practice model for understanding digital engagement by hyperlocal elected representatives. In: Tambouris, E.,
Wimmer, M. (Eds.) Electronic Government and Electronic Participation, 22, () ( ed.). (pp. 11-18). : . IOS Press.
There has been much research into citizens’ engagement with their representatives. This paper offers an approach to understanding sustained take-up of internet technologies by these representatives in a (hyperlocal) democratic context using Community Councils in Scotland a case study. A Community of Practice model was developed and initial data collected to evaluate whether the model can be adapted for contexts where community boundaries are not clear. The focus is the community of users of technology: representatives as primary content creators as a necessary first stage before higher levels of engagement and participation are possible. The CoP model is found to have potential, even in a context of weak, dispersed and non-self-aware communities. The importance of understanding transitions and level of engagement is highlighted and another avenue for further research identified.
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