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Journal Article

The e‑Citizen as talk, as text and as technology: CRM and e‑Government  pp147-158

Paul Richter, James Cornford, Ian McLoughlin

© Oct 2004 Volume 2 Issue 3, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp147 - 218

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Abstract

Public service transformation in the UK is being carried out in the name of the citizen and these changes — specifically those labelled as 'e‑Government' — bring with them the prospect of a significant shift in the nature of the relationship between government and its citizens. Of particular interest is the notion of the e‑Citizen, set against a contemporary public management backdrop featuring customer‑centric discoursesmetaphors, organisational transformation and ICT‑intensive 'private‑sector' business solutions. This paper focuses on a pilot study concerned with exploring the nature and role of socio‑technical and discursive factors which may be implicated in the 'shaping' of the e‑Citizen around the introduction of 'customer relationship management' (CRM) systems at a local government level. The research design draws on 'social shaping of technology' approaches and emphasises the significance of discursive events in these shaping processes. Preliminary findings suggest that citizen‑users of the new face to face access channel within local e‑government are being configured primarily as 'customers' which we suggest has significant implications for the traditional relationship between individuals and the institutions of government.

 

Keywords: e-government, citizen, customer service, discourse, technology

 

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