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Purpose – Ensuring effective usage of Web 2.0 within government organisations is not as straightforward as it seems. The organisations should be aware of a number of issues when implementing Web 2.0 internally. This paper introduces a theoretical model that highlights the importance of management, technology and people issues influencing the level of Web 2.0 usage from an internal perspective. The purpose of this paper was to identify and explore these issues in a government context. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a mixed-method (qualitative and quantitative) analysis to identify the issues that should be focused on for achieving effective usage of Web 2.0 among government employees. A combination of interviews, surveys and usage data collected from two government organisations was used to gather the data. Findings – The main finding is that, a policy will act as an initial catalyst for culture change and effective usage of Web 2.0 technologies in a government environment. It was also found that it is important to develop an understanding among senior management about the motivation for their employees to utilise Web 2.0 internally. As a result, the proposed theoretical model could assist government organisations in developing effective adoption approaches through identifying their employees’ motivation to adopt Web 2.0 technologies and developing a suitable organisational social media policy. Research limitations/implications – There is the issue of the small number of both qualitative and quantitative respondents within the research. Such limitation is because the research relies solely on the voluntary participation of the employees. This limitation was coupled with the fact that both organisations had different security requirements that had affected the amount and level of feasible information that was accessible to the researchers. Practical implications – This paper extends the understanding of issues applicable to the adoption of Web 2.0 tools from a government organisations’ perspective. The developed theoretical model acts as an adoption guide for organisations to achieve effective Web2.0 tools usage. At the same time, this paper also examines related motivation aspects which higher management should consider while using a new social media or Web 2.0 platform internally. Originality/value – This paper highlights suitable overview approaches for organisations to consider in increasing adoption of Web 2.0 among their employees. This paper also provides an initial foray into identifying other complex issues that may exist within different government organisations in relation to internal technology usage.