New innovations in state legislatures: An examination of the successes of diffusion and the potential of personal home pages

Amber Jean Reetz Narro

Abstract

This dissertation examined state legislators' dissemination of innovations on their web sites by determining the extent to which state legislators' web sites reflect "best practices" as recommended by Park and Choi (2002) and Jewell (1982). The researcher utilizes content analysis to determine which legislators employ tools of sophistication, as well as relationship-building tools. In addition, the researcher interviewed webmasters across the country to determine the limitations placed on legislators. Finally, the researcher examined legislator and constituency demographics. Using chi square analysis, the researcher determined if there were relationships between the tools on the websites and the demographics of the legislator and constituency and/or limitations set by the state legislature. Results indicated little or no relationship between the legislators' and constituents' demographics and the tools on the legislators' websites; however, there was a relationship between the limitations on the legislators and the tools that were on their sites. Finally, there also was a relationship between the state median income and the tools provided on the sites. Directions for future research were suggested.