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dc.contributor.advisorDavis, Dennis K
dc.contributor.advisorRussill, Chris
dc.contributor.advisorKearsley, Geoff
dc.contributor.authorAbdullah, Aida Nasirah
dc.identifier.citationAbdullah, A. N. (2013). Environmental Online Communication In Malaysia: A Case Study Of Best Practices Used By Malaysian Environmental NGOs’ Websites (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThe opportunities that websites offer to Environmental Non Governmental Organisations (ENGOs), from information dissemination to deliberation and from service delivery to mobilisation, have led scholars to anticipate that websites will be a critical resource for communication with ENGO audiences. However, studies on how these are used remain limited, especially in developing countries, as most studies are on transnational NGOs or those in developed countries. This exploratory study aims to contribute to the still scant body of empirical evidence through a case study of five environmental NGOs in Malaysia (ENGOMs). This study investigates features of ENGOM website best practice: from serving as a platform for information dissemination, advocacy of environmental issues and mobilising action, to creating an arena for online campaigns and dialogue. The research also focuses on the views of ENGOM employees regarding the obstacles they face and the missions of their websites. Two forms of data were collected and analysed: i) a content analysis of the five ENGOM websites; and ii) in-depth interviews with ENGOM employees. The website content analysis sought to determine, identify, and assess best practice in environmental websites. The interviews provided insight into this practice and the reasons why some websites do not adopt best practice. The website content analysis found that all the five ENGOMs had relatively small sites, but did provide useful information such as mission, goals, and organisational background to strengthen their organisation. These elements were featured prominently on site home pages. Global issues intended to mobilise support and action were moderately prominently placed two clicks away from the home page. Interactivity features available across the five websites were categorised at a ‘moderate’ level of utilisation. The ENGOMs did not fully utilise these for the purpose of conducting online campaigns and encouraging dialogue. This weakness was considered an ineffective use of online communication as the ENGOMs did not provide sufficient facilities for mobilisation, networking, and dialogue. The navigability of the five ENGOMs’ websites was categorised as ‘easy to use’, given that the majority provided good and easy navigation. The majority of the websites also met the ‘well- designed’ requirements. Even though the ENGOMs delivered most of the best practice features expected in effective environmental websites, their sites could offer more. Findings indicated that website usage patterns tended toward information provision with some promise of mobilisation. The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) site was outstanding, while Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) was at the opposite end of the spectrum. ENGOMs’ employees expressed views about enhancing their websites to be more interactive in the future. Resource constraints seemed to be the biggest problem faced by all ENGOMs in their endeavour to develop their websites. However, a key finding was that the organisations with more resources did not use the websites as effectively as organisations with fewer resources. Thus, one or two conscientious and-well trained employees could be successful with limited resources. This study identified three themes on the selected ENGOMs websites, that is communication and mobilisation, networking and collaboration, and technology. In conclusion, a heuristic study and research on website users were suggested to evaluate the users’ point of view regarding what constitutes an effective environmental website.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.titleEnvironmental Online Communication In Malaysia: A Case Study Of Best Practices Used By Malaysian Environmental NGOs’ Websites
dc.language.rfc3066en, Film and Communication of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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