Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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E-campaigning: An Empirical Study of the Utilisation of ICTs for Election Campaigning in the 2008 New Zealand General Election

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posted on 2021-11-15, 12:23 authored by Gong, Xiaoyi

E-campaigning refers to the utilisation of information and communication technologies (ICTs), predominantly the Internet, and related applications for election campaigning. At present, scholarly research in this social phenomenon chiefly focuses on how e-campaigning is utilised by political parties or candidates. Also, there is growing research interest in factors that influence e-campaigning utilisation. However, political parties’ or candidates’ e-campaigning utilisation is largely unexplored and unexplained. This is attributable to several factors, notably, restricted access to the phenomenon, the narrow and geographical concentration of existing e-campaigning research, the accessibility of political parties’ or candidates’ campaign teams as research participants, and a dearth of multidisciplinary research. To that end, this study empirically explores and explains e-campaigning utilisation with a multidisciplinary, multiple-case research approach. Further, this study is situated in the 2008 New Zealand general election, involving six of eight parliamentary parties. Based on existing e-campaigning research, this study proposes a new theoretical framework to understand, describe, and compare e-campaigning utilisation. This e-campaigning framework has been empirically applied. Notably, the findings suggest that political parties’ e-campaigning utilisation varied markedly beyond information dissemination; although social media was introduced in most parties’ e-campaigning, its interactive nature was barely exploited; and innovative e-campaigning appeared to be the exception rather than the norm. From political science and information systems literature, this study identifies ten factors, encompassing both external and internal aspects as well as various perspectives, to explain e-campaigning utilisation. The findings suggest that those factors in general are empirically relevant, accurate, and adequate. This study concludes that e-campaigning is a complex, contextual, diverse, and dynamic phenomenon. As such, it is difficult, if not impossible, to generalise or predict e-campaigning utilisation; also, a multidisciplinary approach is pivotal to investigating the phenomenon.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Information Systems

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970108 Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Lips, Miriam; Tate, Mary