Local E-Government Impact in China, New Zealand, Oman, and the United Kingdom

Purpose - To provide a picture of (local) e-government impact and development philosophy in China, New Zealand, Oman, and the United Kingdom. Design/methodology/approach - A survey instrument was used to collect data from policymakers in 114 civil service organisations in four countries during 2007. Findings - Policymakers in every country reported only low-medium levels of agreement that their e-government initiatives had yielded significant benefits for organisations and citizens alike over, a broad range of performance measures concerning service quality, citizen satisfaction, productivity, and management effectiveness. In interactions with stakeholders that are both directive and maintain control over citizens, policymakers also favour the provision of online services that offer ever increasing amounts of information, rather than collaborative service channels that engage citizens in local decision-making. Research limitations/implications - Less than a 100 percent response rate gave an incomplete snapshot of the e-government scene in the four countries studied. Also, a lack of understanding of some key e-government issues plus cultural response bias may have led to erroneous/biased responses. Practical implications - In an era in which public sector organisations worldwide are under pressure to demonstrate success in service delivery and organisational performance, policymakers do not perceive online services as an opportunity to reduce the costs of physical infrastructure or to improve democracy via shared decision making. Thus further erosions of trust and participation in democracy may continue unless citizens are given similar choices in the democratic system to those they have in their everyday lives. Originality/value - This research was undertaken at the local level of government and in a diverse range of countries where the political, social, economic, and cultural environments can differ markedly. It evaluates the significance of key e-government issues in Western, Arabic, and Eastern contexts, enabling international comparisons to be made across these cultural settings. Impacts of the e-government initiatives on organisations and citizens are presented and compared; and policymaker attitudes to new technology having the potential to enhance the democratic process are presented.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Deakins, E., Dillon, S., Namani, H.A. & Zhang, C.K. (2010). Local E-Government Impact in China, New Zealand, Oman, and the United Kingdom. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 23(6).
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Publisher version