doxa.comunicación | 30, pp. 79-106 | 81

January-June of 2020

Paloma Piqueiras Conlledo

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

management deals with the behaviour of an entire system (macro management), while private management focuses on the problem of the individual parts (micro management)” (De Escalada, 2007: 7).

On this basis, the features of intangible assets in the field of public administration are so unique that their development is simultaneously difficult to manage as well as interesting and beneficial for the entire community. In this context, Canel and Luoma-aho (2017) propose the following definition of intangible assets in the public sector (Canel and Luoma-aho, 2017: 39):

A non-physical asset that allows and gives access to tangible assets, is activated through communication, and is built on past events, or in other words, it is linked to the organization’s behaviour; therefore, it gives rise to an identifiable resource from which both the organization and the stakeholders/citizens can expect a benefit or value (social, monetary, etc.) in the long term.

This paper explores Citizen Engagement from the perspective of intangible assets based on citizens’ perceptions. Using survey data from twenty-seven countries as the basis, the study examines the components of this concept.

The structure of the document is as follows: the objectives, research questions and methodology will be presented in the following section; this is followed by several sections focusing on theory, where the concept of intangible assets is explained and the meaning of Citizen Engagement and its relationship with communication is developed; in the final part of the document, we present engagement data from twenty-seven countries and carry out a detailed analysis to examine the differences between the nations studied; finally, suggestions are provided for the purpose of improving communication in public administration.

2. Research questions and hypotheses

The research questions posed in this article and the associated hypotheses are as follows:

a) Is it possible to determine the attitudes and behaviours of citizens that indicate and make up the intangible asset known as Citizen Engagement?

Given the discrepancies in the literature regarding the indications that are considered commitment, the aim of this research question is to collect a series of attitudes and behaviours that help define the concept.

The answer to this question has been obtained through a study of the literature that has led to the concept of Citizen Engagement being viewed in two ways: a) as an action by a citizen who wants to get involved and; b) as an action that starts from Administration for the purpose of promoting citizen engagement. From the bibliographic review, the conceptual bases have been elicited in order to identify those measures of behaviour and attitude that are capable of demonstrating Citizen Engagement.

Next, a database was created to record the existing values regarding distinct variables related to attitudes and behaviours of the citizens of 27 European Union countries. By means of a factor analysis, it is possible to identify whether the intangible asset is composed of these variables, and if so, which ones.

From what has been stated above, the first hypothesis is as follows: