Online Participation and Decision-Making

29 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2014  

Hendrik Send

Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

Sascha Friesike

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Julia Ebert

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Kirsten Gollatz

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Thomas Schildhauer

Berlin University of the Arts; Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Date Written: December 21, 2014

Abstract

It is our aim to illustrate a picture of the online participation behavior of German Internet users. We study today’s forms of online participation in two selected fields: politics and the economy. The study is built upon 13 types of opportunities to participate. The outcome is based on a TNS Infratest panel, which is representative of Germany’s online population. The selected sample size reached n=504 respondents.

The results of the study address three central questions:

1. Who participates online today?

We are interested in the distribution of sociodemographic (gender and age distribution) and socioeconomic (income distribution, educational background and current employment status) characteristics within user groups.

Our results show that internet users between the ages of 18 and 36, especially those with a university degree are the most active online participants.

2. What do the users do and what interests them?

Regarding the inquired participation forms, we indicate the frequency of usage, the width and intensity of online activities performed, and the individual level of interest in their respective participation forms. Our findings demonstrate that signing an e-petition, has become a very popular form of political and social online participation. Overall, the amount of time respondents dedicate to online participation demonstrates a high level of engagement.

3. What motivations and incentives are behind online participation?

In the third part, we examine what triggers online participation on the basis of action-oriented, outcome-oriented, and consequence-oriented motivations. Based on the answers given by respondents, five different user groups were identified by similar incentive structures. Creativity and self-efficacy were central personality characteristics noted in the study. The results show that the more users engage in participation forms, the more empowered and creative they feel.

Keywords: Online Participation, Decision-making, Political participation, Economical participation, E-Petition, Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, Idea Competition, Participatory Budgeting

Suggested Citation

Send, Hendrik and Friesike, Sascha and Ebert, Julia and Gollatz, Kirsten and Schildhauer, Thomas, Online Participation and Decision-Making (December 21, 2014). HIIG Discussion Paper Series No. 7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2544215 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2544215

Hendrik Send (Contact Author)

Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft ( email )

Französische Straße 9
Berlin, 10117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.hiig.de/staff/dr-hendrik-send/

Sascha Friesike

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Bebelplatz 1 | 10099
Berlin
Germany

Julia Ebert

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Bebelplatz 1 | 10099
Berlin
Germany

Kirsten Gollatz

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Bebelplatz 1 | 10099
Berlin
Germany

Thomas Schildhauer

Berlin University of the Arts ( email )

10623 Berlin - Charlottenburg
Germany

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Bebelplatz 1 | 10099
Berlin
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
147
rank
185,280
Abstract Views
1,272
PlumX