E-Government Challenges: Barriers and Facilitators in Spanish City Councils

E-Government Challenges: Barriers and Facilitators in Spanish City Councils

E. Claver-Cortés (University of Alicante, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-070-7.ch012
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Government agencies are being pressed to become more efficient. For this reason, e-government strategies result from the expectations from society to be able to use Internet technologies as a strategic means of communications and relationship with its public sector, virtualising the delivery of public services. The aim of this chapter is to identify the main barriers and facilitators affecting the deployment of e-government, and to classify them into dimensions that may help researchers and practitioners to identify and better understand these factors. A literature analysis and empirical research based on the perceptions of the technology managers of Spanish councils with more than 5000 inhabitants and institutional Websites were carried out. The findings disclose some lessons for public managers to take into account when implementing an e-government strategy. However, the ultimate challenge seems to be in the hands of the politicians of the council, who are responsible for developing these e-government strategies.
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Organisations from around the globe are actively exploring opportunities and challenges brought about by the Internet and e-business. This is not limited to private sector companies. Public institutions are also facilitating and shaping the development of infrastructure and services and experimenting with new ways of information and services delivery via electronic channels (Govindarajan and Gupta, 2001; Phan, 2003; Li, 2006). In this respect, Knowledge Management tools like Websites or intranet databases usually allow for the provision and canalisation of information and documents for internal activities along the public sector value chain and delivery of public services (Prokopiadou et al., 2004). The better the knowledge base upon which public policies are built, the more likely they are to succeed (Brigdman and Davis, 2004).

The question is, how does Internet really affect local administrations? By enabling local e-government strategies. This is the logical answer to such a trivial question, but there is more than meets the eye. The key word is “enabling”: not every council actually succeeds, even if the expenditure is the same. An e-government strategy is a fundamental element in modernising the public sector, because it does not only provide a wide variety of information and a form of interaction between public sector organisations, business and citizens, but also improves the performance of government organisations and the welfare of citizens (Ebrahim and Irani, 2005).

Therefore, e-government practices must be regarded as tools for creating added value to public products and services, thus increasing governmental efficacy, efficiency, transparency and security. The latter two are even more important considering the virtual side of these practices. For that reason, it seems crucial to analyse the importance of the design of successful e-government practices according to the principles of strategic management and organisational change, as do private firms regarding e-business initiatives.

According to the existing literature, there are many factors that affect the success of e-government (Bueno García, 2002; Hackney and Jones, 2002; ICMA, 2002; Holden, 2003; Li, 2003; Barca and Cordella, 2004; Eyob, 2004; Vishanth and Jyoti, 2004). These are known as e-government facilitators and barriers, for they might help achieving success in the design and implementation of the council’s e-government strategy, but they can also create difficulties. City councils face the challenge of learning to recognize such factors and implementing whatever measures are needed to overcome or deploy them, depending on their influence.

These factors may be of different natures: social (e.g. employees’ attitudes toward technology, society’s perception of e-government practices, legal issues); political/institutional (e.g. political will, hierarchy and division of labour, workflow management); or infrastructural (e.g. availability or lack of finance, skilled personnel and technology) (Joia, 2004). The role that each factor plays in the definition of e-government success will depend on how public governments approach them, which is why barriers and facilitators are essentially the same elements from opposite perspectives.

This chapter explores the facilitating and barrier factors that, ultimately, shape the formulation and implementation processes of strategic e-government, focusing on the point of view of local government. The objectives of this chapter are to identify the main barriers and facilitators affecting the deployment of e-government, and to classify them into dimensions that may help researchers and practitioners to identify and better understand these factors.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Knowledge Management and Virtual Organizations
Chapter 1
Fernando Garrigos
This chapter presents the interrelationships between professional virtual communities and social networks, and analyzes how, and in what ways, these... Sample PDF
Interrelationships Between Professional Virtual Communities and Social Networks, and the Importance of Virtual Communities in Creating and Sharing Knowledge
Chapter 2
Luis V. Casaló
The rapid growth of virtual communities has created a new interest in researchers. Indeed, understanding these communities is especially relevant... Sample PDF
The Role of Trust, Satisfaction, and Communication in the Development of Participation in Virtual Communities
Chapter 3
Cesar Camison
Organisations are finding it more difficult to keep abreast with the pace of change. The continuous rise of business opportunities and the increase... Sample PDF
Can Virtual Networks Encourage Knowledge Absorptive Capacity?
Chapter 4
Montserrat Boronat Navarro
In this study we adopt an inter-organizational view to examine virtual organizations. Thus, we understand this phenomenon as a strategic agreement... Sample PDF
Knowledge Integration Through Inter-Organizational Virtual Organizations
Chapter 5
Mark E. Nissen
In today’s increasingly networked world of organizational practice, information and computer technologies are enabling people and organizations to... Sample PDF
Visualizing Knowledge Networks and Flows to Enhance Organizational Metacognition in Virtual Organizations
Chapter 6
Eduardo Bueno Campos
The aim of this chapter is to deepen the concept of ‘Communities of Practice’ (CoPs) from the understanding of a reference framework for knowledge... Sample PDF
Model on Knowledge-Governance: Collaboration Focus and Communities of Practice
Chapter 7
Josep Capó-Vicedo
This chapter highlights the necessity of establishing relationships with other companies and external agents in order to empower the creation and... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management in SMEs Clusters
Chapter 8
Raquel Sanchis
This chapter presents a general overview of the relationships between information and communications technologies (ITCs) and the process of... Sample PDF
Tools for Supporting Knowledge Management: Knowledge Internalization Through E-Learning
Chapter 9
Cesar Camison, Carlos Devece, Daniel Palacios, Carles Camisón-Haba
In this chapter we describe a practical tool useful to managing knowledge in the firm. It has already been introduced and tested in several firms... Sample PDF
The Value of Virtual Networks for Knowledge Management: A Tool for Practical Development
Chapter 10
M. Eugenia Fabra, Cesar Camison
Companies are increasingly conscious of the fact that the achieving of their objectives, together with the improvement of their competitive... Sample PDF
Human Capital and E-Learning: Developing Knowledge Through Virtual Networks
Chapter 11
Júlio Da Costa Mendes
This chapter looks to analyse new paradigms in the relationship between public and private organisations towards tourism destinations. It proposes... Sample PDF
The Development of Knowledge and Information Networks in Tourism Destinations
Chapter 12
E. Claver-Cortés
Government agencies are being pressed to become more efficient. For this reason, e-government strategies result from the expectations from society... Sample PDF
E-Government Challenges: Barriers and Facilitators in Spanish City Councils
Chapter 13
Hindupur Ramakrishna
The chapter presents a conceptual framework that identifies technological and organizational factors that impact the success of business analytics... Sample PDF
Business Analytics Success: A Conceptual Framework and an Application to Virtual Organizing
Chapter 14
Andrew Targowski
This chapter provides theoretical analysis and synthesis of how computer applications are applied in problem-solving and decision-making in practice... Sample PDF
The Evolution from Data to Wisdom in Decision-Making at the Level of Real and Virtual Networks
Chapter 15
Editor Conclusions  (pages 278-279)
Cesar Camison
The study of virtual organizations encompasses several research fields, and the variables involved in each of them are sometimes closely related.... Sample PDF
Editor Conclusions
Chapter 16
Andrew P. Sage, Cynthia T. Small
This chapter describes a complex adaptive systems (CAS)-based enterprise knowledge-sharing (KnS) model. The CAS-based enterprise KnS model consists... Sample PDF
A Complex Adaptive Systems-Based Enterprise Knowledge Sharing Model
Chapter 17
James G. Williams, Kai A. Olsen
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened competition in the telecommunications market in the U.S. and forced the incumbent telecommunications... Sample PDF
Developing a Telecommunication Operation Support Systems (OSS): The Impact of a Change in Network Technology
Chapter 18
Tor Guimaraes
Emerging agent-based systems offer new means of effectively addressing complex decision processes and enabling solutions to business requirements... Sample PDF
Enabling the Virtual Organization with Agent Technology
Chapter 19
Jens Gammelgaard
In geographically dispersed organizations, like multinational corporations (MNCs), contextual gaps exist between senders and receivers of knowledge.... Sample PDF
Virtual Communities of Practice: A Mechanism for Efficient Knowledge Retrieval in MNCs
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