Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


French, P. Edward

Committee Member

Shaffer, Stephen D.

Committee Member

Stanisevski, Dragan

Committee Member

Park, Johann

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


The relationship between the government and the governed is transforming into a digital collaboration of operations. The level of intensity for this collaboration between government and citizens have fallen behind that of the private sector. Web 2.0 tools, otherwise known as social media, internet search engines, and e-Government are now a stimulant for citizens to become informed about their government actions and to also interact with government in order to provide input to elected officials and appointed officials from citizens to the government concerning public policy making and other public concerns. This research seeks to examine the question of whether forms of local government and their hiring practices have any effect on the way local municipalities conduct their background checks using social media and search engines as supplemental information to traditional background checks. The author examines a representative sample of 871 municipalities within the U.S. having a population of 2,500 or greater. The local form of government hiring procedures characteristics of these 871 municipalities are measured using two separate independent variables. The effects of the forms of local government hiring procedures are measured using independent T-tests and Z-tests for regions selected by the U.S. Census Bureau and population size of these municipalities, municipalities that offer e-Government, and the total forms of e-Government offered. The first four hypotheses, which are especially central to this dissertation, were all rejected. Local government form, population, and region are not correlated with use of social media and search engines to obtain supplemental information about applicants. There were 448 out of 871 hiring managers in municipalities responding to this survey, 51 percent, that confirm searching social media to find supplemental information about applicants. Characteristics of the hiring managers for this study show a correlation between social media and search engines being used to obtain supplemental information about applicants, however, statistical significance was not obtained for these core hypotheses. Minor hypotheses in this study did prove to show significance between hiring managers and the use of social media and search engines to obtain supplemental information about applicants.



local forms government||forms government||search engines||web 2.0 tools||social media