A Framework for Understanding Returns from E-Government

A Framework for Understanding Returns from E-Government

Shirish C. Srivastava (HEC School of Management, Paris, France) and Thompson S.H. Teo (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-138-4.ch007
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Though policy makers and governments are interested in understanding the returns from e-Government implementation, there are relatively few empirical studies that analyze this aspect. Using secondary data from 99 countries and the IT impact literature as the guiding theoretical perspective, we examine the returns from e-Government in the form of national performance. We do this by initially examining the relationship of e-Government development with the first order government process efficiency parameters (resource spending efficiency and administrative process efficiency). Subsequently we examine the association of these first order efficiency outcomes with the two second order dimensions of national performance (reduction of social divide and business competitiveness). Our initial analysis reveals a significant association between “e-Government development” and “resource spending efficiency” and also between “e-Government development” and “administrative process efficiency”. For the second order model, we find that the relationship between “administrative process efficiency” and “reduction of social divide” is not significant. Further, we conducted a post-hoc analysis which revealed that the relationship between “administrative process efficiency” and “reduction of social divide” is fully mediated through the “national business competitiveness”. Hence, “business competitiveness” emerges as an important variable for realizing the “reduction of social divide”. Through this research, we make some important contributions and offer implications for researchers, practitioners and policy makers.
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E-Government can be defined as the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the Internet to enhance the access to and delivery of all facets of government services and operations for the benefit of citizens, businesses, employees and other stakeholders. In recent times, e-Government has generated a lot of interest among researchers. Studies on e-Government can be roughly classified into three broad areas: e-Government development and evolution (Kunstelj & Vintar, 2004; Layne & Lee, 2001; Srivastava & Teo, 2004; 2007a; Tan & Pan, 2003), e-Government adoption and implementation (Koh et al., 2005; Li, 2003; Melitski et al., 2005) and the impact of e-Government on citizens and businesses (Banerjee & Chau, 2004; Srivastava & Teo, 2007b; West, 2004). Though research in all the three identified areas is important; governments, policy makers, practitioners and academics are often intrigued by the returns from e-Government. The facts that research on e-Government impact is still in a nascent stage, and its relationship with national performance has not been adequately addressed in previous research, are the prime motivators for this research.

The link between information technology (IT) investments and organizational performance, termed as IT payoffs or returns, has been researched by numerous scholars (Brynjolfsson & Hitt, 1996; Devaraj & Kohli, 2003; Melville et al., 2004). The practical relevance of IT impact continues to motivate researchers for investigating the relationship between IT and performance (Srivastava & Teo, 2008). Although IT impact research continues to be a major component of information systems (IS) research, relatively few studies have been conducted to gauge the relationship of e-Government with national performance. Past research on the e-Government impact has highlighted some of the benefits it offers for citizens, businesses and governments. E-Government has not only helped in improving service delivery (Kibsi et al., 2001; Von Haldenwang, 2004; West, 2004) and increasing democratization (Von Haldenwang, 2004; West, 2004), but has also helped in reducing corruption and increasing government transparency (Banerjee & Chau, 2004; Cho & Choi, 2004; Von Haldenwang 2004; Wong & Welch, 2004). Most e-Government returns variables investigated in past studies are intermediate process variables, which may eventually impact the national performance (Barua et al., 1995). But this link has not been clearly examined in the current e-Government literature. In our study, we address this gap by conceptualizing the relationship between e-Government development and national performance, mediated through intermediary return variables. We construe national performance as consisting of two dimensions: reduction of social divide and business competitiveness. Further, we posit that e-Government development impacts government process efficiency (resource spending efficiency and administrative process efficiency), which in turn impacts national performance on the two construed dimensions. Through our research, we investigate the relationship between e-Government development and first order impacts, and consequently the linkage between first order efficiency variables and higher order performance variables (Barua et al., 1995; Melville et al., 2004).

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
Chapter 1
Alexander Y. Yap
Why are some countries successful with e-commerce while others flounder? This chapter is an update of an earlier research study that the authors... Sample PDF
A Composite Model for E-Commerce Diffusion: Revisited
Chapter 2
Robert M. Davison, Yuan Li, Carol S.P. Kam
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Data Collection in China
Chapter 3
Jaymeen R. Shah
Privacy laws for the Internet are difficult to develop and implement domestically and internationally. A clear problem is how such laws are limited... Sample PDF
Privacy Protection Overseas as Perceived by USA-Based IT Professionals
Chapter 4
Hongxin Zhao, Seung Kim, Taewon Suh, Jianjun Du
This study attempts to examine empirically how social institutional factors relate to Internet diffusion in 39 countries. Based on nine-year... Sample PDF
Social Institutional Explanations of Global Internet Diffusion: A Cross-Country Analysis
Chapter 5
Somya Joshi, Michael Barrett, Geoff Walsham, Sam Cappleman
This article investigates how, and with what success, global organisations design computer-based systems for knowledge sharing which aim to balance... Sample PDF
Balancing Local Knowledge Within Global Organisations Through Computer-Based Systems: An Activity Theory Approach
Chapter 6
Kevin K.W. Ho, Byungjoon Yoo, Seunghee Yu, Kar Yan Tam
While previous studies on buy-it-now (BIN) auctions focus on the impact of BIN format on economic performances, our study focuses on factors that... Sample PDF
The Effect of Culture and Product Categories on the Level of Use of Buy-It-Now (BIN) Auctions by Sellers
Chapter 7
Shirish C. Srivastava, Thompson S.H. Teo
Though policy makers and governments are interested in understanding the returns from e-Government implementation, there are relatively few... Sample PDF
A Framework for Understanding Returns from E-Government
Chapter 8
Juan Juan Zhang, Sang-Yong Tom Lee
This article studies the role of international spillover of information and communication technology (ICT) in economic growth. We examine the... Sample PDF
A Time Series Analysis of International ICT Spillover
Chapter 9
William Wresch, Simon Fraser
Studies summarized by the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development continue to show that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing... Sample PDF
Technological Hurdles to Caribbean E-Commerce: Responses by Innovative Managers
Chapter 10
Robert M. Davidson, Carol S.P. Kim, Maggie Y. Li, Yuan Li, Carol X.J. Ou
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Surveys in China
Chapter 11
David Gefen, Tsipi Heart
Deliberate exploitation of natural resources and excessive use of environmentally abhorrent materials have resulted in environmental disruptions... Sample PDF
On the Need to Include National Culture as a Central Issue in E-Commerce Trust Beliefs
Chapter 12
Steven Hornik
The horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism are an important characteristic of cultures. These dimensions have many... Sample PDF
Culture's Impact on Technology Mediated Learning: The Role of Horizontal and Vertical Individualism and Collectivism
Chapter 13
Tamara Dinev, Massimo Bellotto, Paul Hart, Vincenzo Russo, Ilaria Serra, Christian Colautti
The study examines differences in individual’s privacy concerns and beliefs about government surveillance in Italy and the United States. By... Sample PDF
Internet Users' Privacy Concerns and Beliefs About Government Surveillance: An Exploratory Study of Differences Between Italy and the United States
Chapter 14
Shaobo Ji, Qingfei Min, Weihe Han
The purpose of this study is to review current research activities concerning information systems (IS) in mainland China. We thus examined Chinese... Sample PDF
Information Systems Research in China: An Empirical Study
Chapter 15
John Lim
Two seemingly disparate phenomena, advancement in computing technologies and rise in complexity of business negotiations owing to globalization... Sample PDF
A Study in the East Asian Context on Computer Support of Pre-Negotiation and Negotiation Stages
Chapter 16
Sang-Woo Lee, Myeong-Cheol Park, Dan J. Kim
This study relies on a customer demand-based view to examine how mobile number portability affects competition in the Korean mobile... Sample PDF
Mobile Number Portability in an Asymmetric Telecommunications Market: Korea Case
Chapter 17
Hazel Taylor
As outsourced and multinational IT projects become more common, managing risks for these projects is increasingly important. The research reported... Sample PDF
Vendor vs. Client Risks in Outsourced IT Projects: An Agency Theory Perspective
Chapter 18
Susan K. Lippert, John A. Volkmar
Research to date on information technology (IT) adoption has focused primarily on homogeneous single country samples. This study integrates the... Sample PDF
Cultural Effects on Technology Performance and Utilization: A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Users
Chapter 19
Thompson S.H. Teo
The Internet can be used for different purposes ranging from simple Internet presence to using the Internet for business transformation. This study... Sample PDF
Basic vs. Advanced Modes of Internet Adoption: A Singapore Perspective
Chapter 20
Clive Sanford, Anol Bhattacherjee
This article presents an interpretive analysis of the key problems and challenges to technology implementation in developing countries, based on a... Sample PDF
IT Implementation in a Developing Country Municipality: A Sociocognitive Analysis
Chapter 21
Susan A. Sherer
This article investigates IT investment management processes in the U.S. and Portugal. In Portugal compared to the United States, we find less... Sample PDF
Comparative Study of IT Investment Management Processes in U.S. and Portugal
Chapter 22
Ruey-Lin Hsiao
This article examines e-marketplace adoption difficulties from a contextualist perspective. The analysis of industrial characteristics will unearth... Sample PDF
Misaligned Market: The Importance of Industry Context in Technology-Mediated Exchanges
Chapter 23
Syaiful Ali, Peter Green
Information technology plays a significant role enabling organisations to achieve their objectives. Accordingly, the governance mechanisms over the... Sample PDF
IT Governance Mechanisms in Public Sector Organisations: An Australian Context
Chapter 24
Shirley Chan
In most parts of the world, it is generally considered impolite or even rude to pick up an incoming mobile phone call and to have a longer (and... Sample PDF
Mobile Phone Communication Innovation in Multiple Time and Space Zones: The Case of Hong Kong Culture
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