Organizational use of Social Media and its impacts on Politics: Evidence from Pakistan
Past studies have focused on organizational use of social media (SM) for service delivery, publicity and public relations, but, how can a public sector organization influence the country’s politics through the use of SM is unknown in literature. Drawing on the theory of Organizational Impression Management (IM) and the concept of authoritarian legacies, this study investigates that how a public sector security organization (Pakistani military) linked with country’s authoritarian past can use the Social Media Activists (SMAs) to influence citizen’s political participation. A random sampling (n=407) technique was used while conducting the survey. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypothesis, which demonstrate that the SM user’s connectedness with the military aligned SMAs is significant and positively associates with their voting realignments and online political participation. The results also indicate that the offline political participation compliments online political participation and political disposition positively relates with online political participation. Our study introduces a new conceptual construct of SMAs aligned with authoritarian legacies and test it empirically. The study adds new prospects for the use of organizational IM theory in relation to the digital media, politics and authoritarianism.