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Examining social networking site narratives between government and youth on entrepreneurship : the case of relationship development in Egypt

Arslan, Mona Ahmed Ismail


Mona Ahmed Ismail Arslan


Manuel Hernández-Pérez


Analysis of the ways in which SNS (Social Networking Sites) are used by governments, organisations and everyday users has over the past ten years been of significant interest to academic researchers. Part of this analysis of use has included understanding how in the Middle East, SNS were used in the series of anti-government protests known as the Arab Spring. Specifically, in Egypt, during the January 25 Revolution, a large number of youth users went on SNS such as Facebook to disseminate information, create conversations and raise awareness of their perspectives and concerns. Whilst use in protest and demonstration may result in aspects such as a drop in public trust of government agents, SNS could also contribute to significant relational outcomes such as relationship development and trust.

This study takes Egypt as its foci in investigating the outcomes of SNS interaction between Government agencies and Youth users. This study aims to understand the role of the topic about which conversations are occurring in communicating with the citizens. Additionally, this study places emphasis on the role of the government agency in changing the perceptions of the Government through SNS interactions.

This study contributes to the burgeoning domain of SNS studies by providing a non- traditional approach to its theoretical background. It specifically achieves this by adopting three areas of focus; first, SNS which includes a site and user perspective. Second, the political context which includes Marketing theory and government studies. Third, relationship development and trust which includes a multi theory lens into theorising the outcomes of SNS interactions. Therefore, it is the first study to apply Political Marketing Theory in Egypt in a non-electoral context. Using novel applications of Relationship Marketing and Public Relations theory, this study presents an understanding of the relationship orientation in the interaction between GOFE and Youth on SNS. Furthermore, the analysis regarding trust development in this study is developed through a framework that highlights both the users’ perspective of trust and the organisations' efforts towards achieving trust.

This study adopts a social constructivist approach. Therefore, this investigation embraces qualitative inductive methods. Due to the rich culture and high interaction of the context investigated, the research problem at hand was addressed through the application of netnography. The Netnographic package includes; firstly, an online observation of Facebook pages followed by textual analysis. Secondly, it includes two sets of interviews with a sample of the users (i.e. Youth) and the organisations (i.e. GOFE). Using Thematic Analysis ten different themes were extracted from the three sources of data (i.e. Facebook data, GOFE interviews and Youth interviews).

The findings from this study suggest that GOFE SNS representation is not yet mature. However, findings demonstrate that GOFE are in the process of becoming a generalisable model of government SNS representation. This could occur with the drop in control over engagement and movement to engagement strategies beyond those targeted primarily at publicity alone. Indeed, this study confirms the significant influence of SNS in fostering positive relational outcomes between the Government and Youth, while confirming the role of the topic and agency. These findings are discussed in light of theoretical contribution and practical implication to the government sector. Whereas previous studies have focused on one aspect of the communication process, this study is the first conducted in the public sector domain in Egypt that focuses on the observed behaviours of GOFE on SNS, perceived behaviours of GOFE by Youth and the strategic intent of GOFE by being present on SNS. This study concludes with limitations incurred and recommendations for practice and future studies. Finally, this study argues that with a further optimised SNS representation, there is indeed hope in developing relationships and achieving trust between Government and citizens in Egypt through SNS interaction.


Arslan, M. A. I. (2020). Examining social networking site narratives between government and youth on entrepreneurship : the case of relationship development in Egypt. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 7, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Digital media
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Digital Media, The University of Hull
Award Date Sep 1, 2020


Thesis (3.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2020 Arslan, Mona Ahmed Ismail. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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