Digital Government Online Education for Public Managers
Marc Holzer (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—Newark, USA), Tony Carrizales (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—Newark, USA) and Younhee Kim (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—Newark, USA)
Copyright: © 2008
The opportunities that arise from the practice of digital government continue to increase. Public managers responsible for adopting and implementing such new practices will be searching for existing best practices to incorporate into their respective communities. They may choose to rely on their information and communication technology (ICT) departments to develop necessary digital government applications, but an appealing option for public managers is to familiarize themselves with the most recent digital government applications through Web-based courses. Online education eliminates distances, allows for flexible scheduling and can incorporate current best practices of electronic-government on a timely basis. Public managers play a critical role in the development of digital government initiatives (Halachmi, 2004; Heeks, 1999; Ho, 2002; Melitski, 2003; Weare, Musso & Hale, 1999). Although public managers can refer to numerous individuals within government municipalities, in the case of digital government, the chief administrative officer (CAO) is often the key individual in deciding the direction of government initiatives. By completing Web-based courses, CAOs can assess and strategically plan for effective and efficient digital government in their communities. Melitski (2003) argues that there is a need for public mangers that are “familiar with both IT and the programmatic goals and missions of public organizations” (p. 389). With respect to implementing digital citizen participation in government, Holzer, Melitski, Rho, and Schwester (2004) state, as their primary recommendation, “governments should work harder to identify, study, and implement best practices” (p. 28). The means to study such best practices, however, have generally been scarce, and the literature has been limited to specialized e-government reports and articles. But Web-based courses now offer the means for a CAO or any other public manager to study digital government practices and theories in a more effective and convenient manner.