This paper analyzes new ways of citizen participation by adopting methods of Open Innovation in the public sector. We provide a framework to structure these new activities and perform an explanatory analysis on the driving factors behind participation in one so-called “Open Government” initiative. Our study is based on an online idea collaboration platform in Germany with more than 100,000 visitors and 2,100 community members. It uses survey data including a quasi-experiment for 325 platform participants and a control group of 204 citizens. Our theoretical framework extends the concept of citizenship to the realm of voluntary online participation. We find that citizen participation measured as political engagement and political expertise increases the probability to participate in the online dialogue. Citizens’ loyalty measured by an altruistic attitude also plays a significant role in motivating citizens to contribute to future public policies. We derive implications for public managers and future research opportunities.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.