Local governments around the world are increasingly implementing e-participation platforms to involve citizens in consultation and decision-making processes. E-participation platforms usually succeed and produce positive effects in the community when adopted in the long-term scenario. The adoption of those platforms is still a challenge for local governments. The understanding of the factors that influence the continuous intention to use e-participation over time is critical for the design of diffusion and promotion strategies that motivate the citizens to keep using e-participation. This article explores the drivers that predict the post-adoption of e-participation platforms from the perspective of the sense of virtual community theory, that is the degree of affective attachment to a given community mediated by information technology. Specifically, our research model evaluates the association between the sense of virtual community with use behaviour and the continuous intention to use e-participation. Structural equation modelling was used to evaluate the data collected from 370 citizens who experienced an e-participation platform hosted by a European capital city. We found out that the direct association between the sense of virtual community and use was significant. Even though the direct association between the sense of virtual community and the continuous intention was non-significant, the indirect association sense of virtual community to use to continuous intention was statistically significant. This finding may indicate that the use behaviour is triggered by the influence of other members of the community for a short period of time, but it does not persist to influence the continuous intention over time.
- Online participatory budgeting
- Sense of virtual community