Promises and Pitfalls of Using Social Media in Public E-procurement: an Appraisal

Sharif As-Saber, Shams Rahman, Mahbubur Rahim, George Cairns, Charmine Härtel, Wahed Waheduzzaman


Social Media (SM), in recent years, is emerging as a common platform for low cost information exchange, and has attracted a critical mass of users both at corporate and retail levels. Theoretically, SM can thus be used as a tool to strengthen e-procurement in the public sector. Towards this end, we have prepared a conceptual model drawing on literature reviews and some examples while identifying a set of expected benefits and challenges within four stages of e-procurement. Using the framework, a case study has been conducted involving Australian public procurement initiatives and 15 federal government senior officials engaged in e-procurement. They have been interviewed to shed light on the possibilities and challenges of using SM in the public e-procurement context. The findings of the study suggest a limited scope for SM usage in the Australian public sector e-procurement process. The implications of the findings are discussed and some recommendations offered.


E-procurement; social media; public sector; potentials; challenges

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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