E-Government: Information, Technology, and Transformation
eBook - ePub

E-Government: Information, Technology, and Transformation

Information, Technology, and Transformation

Hans J Schnoll

Share book
  1. 343 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

E-Government: Information, Technology, and Transformation

Information, Technology, and Transformation

Hans J Schnoll

Book details
Book preview
Table of contents
Citations

About This Book

This book presents a citizen-centric perspective of the dual components of e-government and e-governance. E-government> refers to the practice of online public reporting by government to citizens, and to service delivery via the Internet. E-governance represents the initiatives for citizens to participate and provide their opinion on government websites.

This volume in the Public Solutions Handbook Series focuses on various e-government initiatives from the United States and abroad, and will help guide public service practitioners in their transformation to e-government. The book provides important recommendations and suggestions oriented towards practitioners, and makes a significant contribution to e-government by showcasing successful models and highlighting the lessons learned in the implementation processes.

Chapter coverage includes:

  • Online fiscal transparency
  • Performance reporting
  • Improving citizen participation
  • Privacy issues in e-governance
  • Internet voting
  • E-government at the local level

Frequently asked questions

How do I cancel my subscription?
Simply head over to the account section in settings and click on “Cancel Subscription” - it’s as simple as that. After you cancel, your membership will stay active for the remainder of the time you’ve paid for. Learn more here.
Can/how do I download books?
At the moment all of our mobile-responsive ePub books are available to download via the app. Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. Learn more here.
What is the difference between the pricing plans?
Both plans give you full access to the library and all of Perlego’s features. The only differences are the price and subscription period: With the annual plan you’ll save around 30% compared to 12 months on the monthly plan.
What is Perlego?
We are an online textbook subscription service, where you can get access to an entire online library for less than the price of a single book per month. With over 1 million books across 1000+ topics, we’ve got you covered! Learn more here.
Do you support text-to-speech?
Look out for the read-aloud symbol on your next book to see if you can listen to it. The read-aloud tool reads text aloud for you, highlighting the text as it is being read. You can pause it, speed it up and slow it down. Learn more here.
Is E-Government: Information, Technology, and Transformation an online PDF/ePUB?
Yes, you can access E-Government: Information, Technology, and Transformation by Hans J Schnoll in PDF and/or ePUB format, as well as other popular books in Politics & International Relations & Politics. We have over one million books available in our catalogue for you to explore.

Information

PART I
FOUNDATIONS
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
CHAPTER 1
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT
Introduction to the Domain
HANS J. SCHOLL
Electronic government (EG) is a domain of action and study addressing “the use of information and technology to support and improve public policies and government operations, engage citizens, and provide comprehensive and timely government services” (Scholl, 2007b, p. 21).
EG is a multidisciplinary domain of study. Core disciplines that contribute to this domain comprise various strands of computer science (e.g., human-computer interaction—HCI for short), the information sciences, traditional information systems (IS) research, administrative and organizational sciences, political science, sociology, and psychology, among others. In this domain, few phenomena and objects of study, if any, are “owned” by any one discipline (Scholl, 2007a, p. 74). Hence, monodisciplinary research undertakings in EG generally produce partial results and need to be integrated into the greater scheme of inquiry.
As in other multidisciplinary research endeavors, such integration poses a number of known and new problems. For example, what counts for an accepted standard of inquiry in one discipline might not enjoy an equivalent or even any standing in another discipline (Scholl, 2007b). Consequently, the integration of EG research results across participating disciplines requires an inspired dialogue, particularly in cases where scientific paradigms differ.
Disciplines that are committed to “hard” and “quantitative” standards of inquiry find it easier to understand and integrate their “pure” and “applied” research results across their disciplinary boundaries. Similar observations have been made for research traditions that are mainly “soft” and “qualitative.” However, when it comes to bridging the gulf between “hard” and “soft” sciences, the dialogue between disciplines, if any, is challenging. EG is no exception to this experience (also known from other integrative sciences such as information sciences) (Scholl, 2007b).
Yet over the years, the community of EG scholars has developed a remarkable interest in and a capacity to appreciate research results from “across the gulf.” At EG conferences and in EG publications, research from all four quadrants (“hard/pure,” “hard/applied,” “soft/pure,” and “soft/ applied”) is presented side by side, with this book serving as a case in point. Some scholars have criticized the “lack of clarity and lack of rigor” (Heeks and Bailur, 2007), low standards, and theoretical shallowness of much EG research (Grönlund, 2005, 2006; Heeks and Bailur, 2006; Norris, 2005), suggesting that standards be taken from one discipline or another to govern the EG research enterprise (Scholl, 2007b).
However, as an integrative academic endeavor, EG has virtually established academic pluralism as standard. The enormous speed with which EG practice has unfolded on all levels of government, in all branches, and around the world, has produced a plethora of new practical and research challenges. Those challenges, however, transcend disciplinary boundaries and involve practitioners and academics from fairly diverse professional and disciplinary backgrounds in practical projects (Delcambre and Giuliano, 2005; Scholl, 2007a).
In other words, the complexity encountered in practice helps drive the study domain toward integration and cross-disciplinary understanding. While the integration of disciplinary results in a multidisciplinary (comparative and interpretive) fashion represents one level of integration, a higher level of integration would result if the research designs were integrated between participating disciplines. This higher-integrated interdisciplinary type of research has not shown up in numbers in EG. Interestingly, while some scholars bemoan a certain lack of “rigor” in portions of EG for reasons discussed previously (Grönlund, 2005; Heeks and Bailur, 2006), numerous practitioners attest that EG research in general has a very high relevance to practice. Due to its multidisciplinary nature, the domain is unlikely to produce any unifying grand theory of EG. However, as an integrative academic endeavor, EG has much to offer not only to practice but also to its participating disciplines and to the movement toward interdisciplinarity in scientific research (Delcambre and Giuliano, 2005).
This volume conveys the multidisciplinary nature of EG. Its contributions also mirror and represent the rapid development of EG in both academia and practice (Heeks and Bailur, 2007) since its early beginnings in the mid-1990s. EG, which the U.S. National Science Foundation refers to as “digital government,” has produced a rich account of domain-specific knowledge with over 2,600 peer-reviewed contributions between 1997 and 2009.
Major academic publishers (Emerald, Elsevier, IOS Press, Springer, Taylor and Francis, and others) have dedicated journals and monograph series to EG. The leading scholars in the domain regularly meet at three major annual conferences: (1) the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) hosts a dedicated EG track; (2) the Digital Government Society of North America holds the annual “dg.o” conference, and (3) the Europe-based IFTP (International Federation of Information Processing) EGOV conference. All three EG tracks and conferences have a near decade-long track record and together produce some 90 to 100 peer-reviewed research papers per annum. For the past decade, the body of EG knowledge has grown at a steady annual rate. While the study domain of EG is far from reaching maturity, it is now well beyond a state of early infancy. This book showcases current EG research and represents a snapshot of the state of the domain. However, it cannot and does not claim to cover this multifaceted and wide domain in its entirety.
When we use the acronym EG, we usually refer to electronic government as the academic study domain. In circumstances where this may be misleading or confusing, we will also use the acronyms EGR for academic electronic government research and EGP for electronic government practice. Further, we will use EGIS to refer to electronic government information systems, as opposed to ECIS for e-commerce information systems, or IS for multipurpose information systems.
The following acronyms have been established in the EG literature, and we use them accordingly in this volume: G2G for government-to-government, G2B for government-to-business, G2C for government-to-citizen, G2E for government-to-employee, and IEE for internal effectiveness and efficiency. Three of those acronyms correspond to those used in the e-commerce literature. These are B2B for business-to-business, B2C for business-to-customer, and B2G for business-to-government, which we also use in this volume.
Further, throughout this volume we use the acronyms IT and ICT interchangeably, which refer to information technology (IT) and information and communication technology (ICT). These acronyms are frequently used in a concept-combining fashion such as IT strategy, ICT infrastructure, or IT portfolio.
Over the years, several strands of study have developed within EG, most of which we represent in this volume. A small but important strand is concerned with the foundations, the standards of inquiry, and interdisciplinarity in EG. Another major strand of EG is dedicated to organization, management, and transformation, which closely relates to and overlaps with a strand focused on infrastructure and interoperability. Also partially overlapping with the former two, but distinct in emphasis from them, is the strand of EG services research. Additionally, from the early beginnings of EG, we have witnessed a strong interest in EG-related policy and governance issues as well as in topics such as EG-facilitated participation, inclusion, and democracy. Minor strands, not represented here, are EG design studies, other EG-related computer-science research, and EG security.
The volume comprises four parts. The first part, the introduction to the domain and the chapter on the state of the domain belong to the foundations strand. The second part presents research from the strand of organization, management, and transformation. The third part showcases studies on policy, participation, and governance. Finally, the fourth part covers the strand of infrastructure, interoperability, and services. In the following pages, the chapters of the four parts are introduced.
The part on foundations consists of this introduction to the domain and one chapter. In “Electronic Government: A Study Domain Past Its Infancy,” I analyze the foundations and structures of EG, which has experienced rapid evolution and steep growth since its beginnings in the late 1990s. I then discuss the disciplinary diversity of the domain, assess where the domain currently stands, present its publication trends, and consider where EG might be heading.
The part on organization, management, and transformation comprises a total of five chapters. Some scholars have questioned the transformative impact of EG, while others have argued that transformative changes become visible only after some longer periods of time have elapsed. In “Deep E-Government: Beneath the Carapace,” Frank Bannister argues that a simple cause-effect perspective on the impact and efficacy of EG might be insufficient, since it overemphasizes technology as a single variable in an overall equation, which involves other major variables and their complex interaction. Much research, he argues, has only scratched the surface of the problem space, which he presents as a multilayered structure with a deep administrative core as the innermost layer. EG research, which only inquires around the outer shell, might be incapable of discovering any deeper changes or outright transformation, Bannister asserts. Rather, EG should reach to include the deeper and inner layers of government to understand what the impact of EG is on all those levels. Bannister illustrates the analytical power of the proposed approach by means of four short case studies. He concludes that the layered analytical approach helps bring to the surface the major impacts of EG in the deeper layers of government. According to the author, those impacts would not immediately be visible by analytical approaches ignorant of the various layers of government. Research on “deep EG” would brace for a deeper and broader conceptual interpretation, which moves beyond a mere technology focus and invokes insights gained from other disciplines such as public administration and political science.
In the chapter titled “Defining the Transformation of Government: E-Government or E-Govemance Paradigm?” Rowena Cullen expands the perspective on transformation by distinguishing transformation in the administrative domain (government, e-government, and information systems) from transformation in and of the participative domain (governance, e-democracy, and e-participation). From an administrative perspective, achieving administrative goals such as business process improvement, cost containment or reduction, and efficiency and productivity gains, might yield certain transformative effects and outcomes in the administrative context. In contrast, from a participative perspective, different transformative effects and outcomes might be observable, for example, in interactor relationships, governance structures and processes, and the extent and nature of stakeholder involvement. In Cullen’s view, confusing the two domains and their distinct transformative potentials misguides research and practice in either one. Transformative outcomes in one domain might even be obscured when viewed through the lens of the other domain.
Under the title “Evaluating E-Government Implementation: Opening the Interdisciplinary Door,” Maddalena Sorrentino and Marco de Marco use Maggi and Albano’s theory of organizational action (TOA), which provides an interdisciplinary perspective on evaluating organizational action and outcomes. Based on TOA, the authors take a process view of the organization. EG appears as an organizational action (not just as technology diffusion), for which actors are elements that make decisions under bounded rationality regarding the process flow and its outcomes. Since ultimate outcomes are not knowable or determined ex ante, EG success can be evaluated only relative to various and variable criteria (e.g., specific stakeholders’ desires). This excludes the possibility of meaningfully comparing and evaluating EGIS and their efficacy unless their specific contexts are also accounted for. The authors maintain that Maggi and Albano’s theory of action not only helps scholars integrate and interpret research from different disciplines on the subject but also supports practitioners in understanding and making choices in the organizational process of EG.
From its early beginnings in the late 1990s, EG has been interested in measuring the progress of EGIS proliferation, their efficacy and transformational impact, and the degree of sophistication of both deployed systems and applied methods. Tony E. Wohlers adds to this strand of research in the chapter on “Local E-Government Sophistication in the United States.” As Wohlers points out, local governments, private businesses, and citizens embrace and benefit from the growing Web presence and availability of government online services. The higher visibility and transparency of local government as facilitated by EGIS lead to increased trust in G2C and G2B/B2G relationships. However, significant differences in EG sophistication remain among local governments across the United States. Wohlers does not attempt to explain those differences and similarities in local-government EG sophistication along the traditional lines of size and resource richness, since those expose variance that is too high to suggest any correlation. Instead, he invokes Elazar’s framework, according to which certain political subcultures dominate politics and shape government posture in the various geographic areas of the United States. Following Elazar’s line of reasoning, Wohlers concludes that moralistic, traditionalistic, and individualistic subcultures leave thei...

Table of contents