Understanding shifting dynamics of power in state governments through social networks

Kevin D. Mentzer, Anne Washington

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We use social network analysis to better understand historic data on the administration of local governments. Despite advances in e-government applications, the public sector lags behind in analytics because information is locked in legacy data formats. Can e-government researchers bridge the gap between legacy data and analytics? We argue that computational analytic methods, popular in big data applications, can explain patterns that have gone unquestioned in previous research on government. Specifically, we consider how explanations of state government authority can be explained using a network perspective. These data were originally designed to describe administrative differences US territories and states. We investigate methodological challenges in building a weighted social network to confirm existing measures for calculating the power of the state governor. This project reports on the initial step in a broader study to cover all 50 states across multiple years and agencies. We compare the states that experienced the greatest differences in gubernatorial appointment power between 1992 and 2012 Texas and Massachusetts. In addition, we identified that Information Systems agencies moved closer to gubernatorial control across all 50 states. Social network analysis improves existing measurements because it indicates the relationship between the governor and other top officials and agencies. An analytics approach explained where the power shifted across states and across time. Computational analysis of existing government data matches findings from previous studies as well as adding additional explanatory power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015
PublisherAmericas Conference on Information Systems
ISBN (Electronic)9780996683104
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Event21st Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015 - Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Duration: Aug 13 2015Aug 15 2015

Other

Other21st Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015
CountryPuerto Rico
CityFajardo
Period8/13/158/15/15

Fingerprint

Governors
Electric network analysis
Information systems
Big data

Keywords

  • E-government
  • Gubernatorial power
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

Cite this

Mentzer, K. D., & Washington, A. (2015). Understanding shifting dynamics of power in state governments through social networks. In 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems.

Understanding shifting dynamics of power in state governments through social networks. / Mentzer, Kevin D.; Washington, Anne.

2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015. Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2015.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Mentzer, KD & Washington, A 2015, Understanding shifting dynamics of power in state governments through social networks. in 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015. Americas Conference on Information Systems, 21st Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, 8/13/15.
Mentzer KD, Washington A. Understanding shifting dynamics of power in state governments through social networks. In 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015. Americas Conference on Information Systems. 2015
Mentzer, Kevin D. ; Washington, Anne. / Understanding shifting dynamics of power in state governments through social networks. 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015. Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2015.
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