The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Article

e‑Government Leaders, Organisational Change and ICTs: Learning from FAME and other e‑Government Experiences  pp11-20

James Carr, Pat Gannon-Leary

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 95

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Abstract

So‑called 'slow' adaptation to technological change is actually a characteristic of major innovations, particularly those requiring significant organisational change. The implementation of ICT to support government sector working is no exception: it is a complex socio‑technical practice comprised of interrelated technical, cultural and organisational issues. As part of the "Framework for Multi‑Agency Environments" (FAME: www.fame‑uk.org) project interviews were conducted with leaders of e‑government projects and with project managers responsible for local authority FAME strands. How far do leadersmanagers think in terms of organisational change and what technology can do to help that objective, and how far do they think about the opportunities for organisational change that ICT developments might enable? Grounded theory method (GTM) is used in the context of local authority leadership to explore these issues.

 

Keywords: e-government leaders, organisational change, ICT, socio-technical practice, FAME, innofusion

 

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Journal Article

eGovernment Implementation and TQM Adoption: An Empirical Study in the Portuguese Municipalities  pp58-67

Patrícia Moura e Sá

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 92

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Abstract

The paper investigates the potential link between eGovernment implementation and TQM adoption in the Local Government context. Although most research studies point out the importance of adopting citizen‑oriented organisational practices to successfully implement eGovernment initiatives, the present study is original in specifically investigating the role that TQM may have in driving eGovernment adoption. From a theoretical standpoint, not only do eGovernment and TQM pursue some identical purposes, but they also share an important set of core concepts and principles, a fact which suggests a reinforcing link between these two approaches. This potential link was investigated by means of a questionnaire survey, complemented with the analysis of the institutional web pages of the 308 municipalities existing in Portugal. The findings reveal that municipalities where eGovernment initiatives are more mature are simultaneously those that implement TQM. ‘Soft’ elements of TQM are particularly associated with the implementation of more sophisticated forms of eGovernment. Certification, on the other hand, apparently does not have an impact on eGovernment adoption. Exploiting the synergies that might exist between these approaches seems to be essential to really bring about institutional change, essential to enhance sustainability and produce long‑term results.

 

Keywords: TQM, eGovernment, local government, organisational change, certification

 

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Journal Article

Key Issues in Enterprise Architecture Adoption in the Public Sector  pp46-58

Ville Seppänen, Katja Penttinen, Mirja Pulkkinen

© May 2018 Volume 16 Issue 1, Editor: Dr Carl Erik Moe, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

This paper examines the challenges of enterprise architecture (EA) adoption in public sector organisations. So far, demonstrating the benefits of EA has appeared difficult in this context, and the results in transforming public sector remain modest: Both the penetration and the maturity of EA appear rather low. In the academia, however, the adoption of EA has gained less interest than the EA development and methodologies. Hence, there is a need for research on what are the challenges of EA adoption, and how to overcome them. This paper presents the results of an expert survey on the challenges of EA adoption in the Finnish public sector. The analysis of quantitative data, supported with a qualitative data, reveals three interrelated factors: Resistance towards EA, Relevant EA goals, and the EA practices in use. Managing the identified key issues classified in these three broad concepts would be the prerequisite for institutionalising EA and making it a legitimate practice. The findings extend the current knowledge of the public sector EA with practicable ideas how to increase the level of penetration and maturity.

 

Keywords: enterprise architecture (EA), adoption, organisational change, resistance towards EA, relevant EA goals, EA practices in use, survey research

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 1 / Jun 2007  pp1‑95

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

The level of research activity in e‑government research continues to escalate. Earlier this year I attended part of the East European e‑Government Conference in Prague. June saw the European Conference on e‑Government in The Hague and (at the time of writing) will be followed by e‑Gov in Regensburg in early September and the European Group of Public Administration Conference later in the same month in Madrid: good for the research field, if not for meagre and stressed out academic travel budgets.

While a great deal of research is being produced, and maybe because so much research is being produced, the quality is mixed. Consequently it can take time to find papers of sufficient quality to publish in the journal. I am therefore pleased to have nine good articles, with a truly international mix, for this issue.

In their article Bof and Previtali examine the state of e‑government in the Italian health services. The authors have done some serious groundwork in their research and the picture they come up with is of a sector struggling to get to grips with this technology – particularly in the area of procurement. Their analysis of the reasons underlying these problems is blunt and their prescriptions will be of interest to many organisations.

Carr and Gannon O’Leary examine the UK’s Framework for Multi‑Agency Environment (FAME) research programme. The lessons from this research include the perhaps not surprising one that complex projects take time to implement, but they make the innovative suggestion that one approach to assisting such processes is closer engagement between agencies and universities with expertise in social and information technology sciences.

I first heard Castelnovo and Simonetta’s paper at the ECEG conference in Genoa last year and I recall being quite taken by it at the time. It appears here in a more fully developed form. The article explores the concept of public value, a topic that in my view does not receive anything like enough attention from the research community. Based on their conceptualisation of public service value, they propose a novel approach to the evaluation of e‑government projects. While they do this in the context of small local government projects, many of the ideas here are applicable in a wider arena

Canada is usually held up as one of the paragons of e‑government. In the various international benchmarks, Canada is consistently in the top two or three. In their article, Kumar et al look underneath the hood at what is actually going on in Canadian e‑government, where it seems use of government websites for information is much more important to most citizens than the ability to carry out on‑line transactions. Starting from this, and using an extensive study of the literature, the authors develop and propose a conceptual model of e‑government adoption, somewhat analogous to some of the more developed technology adoption models.

e‑Readiness is a useful concept, but how does one measure it? In their article, Zaied et al address this question in the context of countries in the Arab world. Drawing on an extensive list of scholarly and professional sources, they develop a measurement instrument and then use this to explore the state of readiness in Kuwait using three constructs, human skills, infrastructure and connectivity. Their approach may be of interest to other researchers in developing countries as a way of assessing the state of readiness of their own countries for e‑government.

One of the persistent issues in e‑government is the diversity and duplication of data, just one aspect of the widespread silo phenomenon in public administration. Chiang and Hseih’s article describes the findings of an extended research project into information integration in Taipei County in South Korea. Anybody who has any experience of merging and/or integrating large data set will appreciate both the business and technical challenges that this presents. However once done, the benefits, as the authors show, are considerable ranging from cost reduction to lower administrative workloads and ease of standardisation.

Another aspect of Italian public services, the justice system, is examined by Contini and Cordella, who use it as a case study for an exploration of systems design and development methodologies. Public sector systems in general tend to be complicated, but justice systems are particularly challenging when one moves from basic automation to applying technology to higher level processes such as the creation of new shared working practices. The authors argue that the methodologies used for system development in the past are no longer appropriate for these more complex problems and that what they describe as information infrastructure deployment projects need to be considered as socio‑technical rather than just technical projects.

On more or less the same theme of the complexity of public business processes, Freiheit and Zengl, describe the use of a modelling technique called Event‑driven Process Chains. They argue that traditional business modelling techniques are designed to help the software designer rather than the user (here the citizen) and argue that this and other methods which have been developed in the commercial sector can be usefully applied in the public sector. Having described this concept, they evaluate it using the European Judicial Network as one of a number of case studies. For those familiar with other modelling techniques, this approach has elements which will be familiar, and elements which are new. Even those who are not au fait with modelling techniques should find the ideas in this article interesting.

Finally, in this issue we are introducing a new feature. The journal receives a steady stream of what might be called ‘country’ articles, i.e. articles which outline the current state of e‑government in a particular country or region. One of the problems we sometimes have with these submissions is that, while they are interesting, they are not very academic and consequently, when we apply the normal standards of academic research rigour, they are rejected. However, I often find these papers informative and I think that other readers might too. So we have started a special section with an inaugural paper on e‑government in Nepal by Parajuli. I found this an engaging and different story from what, for most westerners, is still a slightly mysterious and exotic land. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Keywords: assessment models, business processes, Canada, Cultivation, customer orientation, databases, developing country, digital government, e-Government leaders, e-Justice, e-Procurement, e-Readiness, event-driven process chains, FAME, HCOs, ICT, information infrastructures, information integration, information systems development methodologies, inter-communal cooperation, Nepal, organisational change, organizational requirements, public procurement, public services, public value, small local government organizations, socio-technical practice, user-interface, web site analysis, web site contents

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 9 Issue 1 / Sep 2011  pp1‑92

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

Ships that Pass in the Night?

 

For some years now I have been involved in the PhD symposium at the European Group for Public Administration’s (EGPA’s) annual conference.  The majority of the PhD students attending these symposia are doing their research in public administration rather than e‑government, but sometimes ICT raises its head in unexpected situations.

 

This happened a few weeks ago at this year’s conference in Bucharest when a student was presenting some of the ongoing results from the COCOPS project.  Don’t worry about the acronym (www.eur.nl/cocops/ if you want to know more), COCOPS is an EU funded project which, inter alia is trying to evaluate the impact of various public sector reforms.  In the presentation in question, the student discussed and analysed various attempts to evaluate the impact of New Public Management (NPM) on public administration and citizens over the period from about the early 1990s to the present.

 

This coincides, give or take a year or two, with the period of the Internet and the Web in government.  So in the discussion afterwards I could not resist asking the obvious question: how are you (or COCOPS) going to differentiate the effect of NPM (or any other reform over this period) from the impact of technology?   This led to a lively discussion at the end of which there was no clear answer – possibly because distilling out such impacts is next to impossible.

 

The question of evaluating the impact of e‑government is one for another day.  My observation here is that the student, and one assumes that COCOPS team (and a very distinguished bunch they are), did not seem to have given this matter much, if any, thought.  Given that Eric Brynjolfsson is on record as claiming that almost all of the productivity gains in the US economy over the past 20 plus years are attributable to information technology, it seems a bit well, quixotic, to ignore the impact of the same technology in the public sector.  Quixotic maybe, but surprising no.  The world of public administration, or at least the academic end of it, is still, seemingly, largely oblivious of IT.  In fact the previous week at the eGov conference in Delft when I remarked at an IFIP meeting that the Oxford Handbook of Public Management had only two chapters which considered IT at all (and one of those was on IT in government by Helen Margretts) a leading American academic (whose identity I will protect though he has tenure) snorted on contemptuously that that was because public administration academics were still 30 years behind in their thinking.

 

A bit over the top maybe, but there a germ of truth in this accusation as there is in the sometimes heard counter accusation that too many people working in e‑government do not know enough about mainstream public administration, its concepts, theories and ideas.  A small number academics bridge this divide and many of them are to be found at EGPA each year, but it is a gap that really needs to be addressed by both sides.  Both public administration and e‑government worlds have much to learn from each other and if they could, there world would be the richer for it. 

 

Frank Bannister

September 2011

 

Keywords: CIO, local government, Mexico, IT organization, eService, electronic service, public service delivery, eGovernment application, interoperability, integrated service, Bangladesh, actor-network theory, eGovernment, eHealth, enterprise architecture, evolving structure, implementation, participatory budgeting, eDemocracy, Symfony, Quimby, open-source, eDem 1.0, software reuse, electronic PB, TQM, eGovernment, local government, organisational change, certification,

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 16 Issue 1 / May 2018  pp1‑86

Editor: Dr Carl Erik Moe

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Keywords: ICT4D, Capability Approach, Design-reality gap, ICT4D evaluation, ICT4D champion, Jigawa ICT, economic empowerment, information infrastructure, e-government, implementation, public-private partnership (PPP), least developed countries (LDCs), sub-Saharan Africa, Rwanda, Social media, Social media-based collaboration, Government challenges, Government requirements, Citizen engagement, Two-way communication, Citizens-government relationship, enterprise architecture (EA), adoption, organisational change, resistance towards EA, relevant EA goals, EA practices in use, survey research, degree of digitalization, satisfied citizens, local e-government, municipality, Sweden, E-government, User Participation, Public e-service development

 

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