Are Online Social Networks, Leading to a ‘Better World in the Omani Public Sector? A Qualitative Study
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) penetration is growing at exponential rates and affecting societies, countries and organizations, which has led to a need for understanding whether they contribute to de-velopment. To ascertain whether ICT are contributing to development, the example of a current ICT, Twitter is used, along with the aim of this research: To understand and explain how public sector organizations are adopting and using online social networks; namely twitter, for the delivery of e-government services that will provide a better world to live in the Omani public sector. By considering this aim, we attempt to explain whether Twitter, contributes towards the creation of a ‘better world’ to live in, or leads to diverse outcomes in a developing country, Oman. To achieve the aim, we used two public sector organizations workforces’ experiences and applied the Choice Framework (CF) developed by Kleine . For the research approach, we employed a qualitative approach and the data collection techniques, reference to archival documents, interviews, photographic evidence and observations. The analysis was completed using the lens of interpretivism, socio-materiality along with grounded theory concepts. The study reveals that ICT4D is providing a better world for most of the citizens, but for the providers of the improved e-government services, it implies aligning local practices to the technology, which affects their home/work life balance. The contributions of this research lie in emphasising largely how the use of Twitter in Oman will lead to development. The Choice Framework selected for our understanding was adapted and led to diverse re-sults to those mentioned in previous ICT4D studies; therefore, our research makes a contribution of understanding ICT4D in an e-government context, which was amiss in the previous frameworks. For businesses, our findings inform practitioners on the ICT Technologies areas that need attention while implementing them within an environment similar to Oman’s public sector. For policymakers, this research informs of the areas that require policymakers’ attention when placing their efforts where they are best served.