Local Level Structural Change and E Government in Germany

Local Level Structural Change and E Government in Germany

Tino Schuppan (Institute for eGovernment, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-282-4.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter addresses the link between e-government, organizational networks related to it, and the possibilities for structural reform of local-level public administration. In the general discussion, e government is often reduced to the electronic delivery of services. However, the most important potential of e-government can only be realized if new ICT solutions are used for inter-organizational network-oriented work structures. Examples of various forms of such networks exist worldwide and are commonly used to increase citizen orientation and/or to improve efficiency. However, the fact that these networks can have a deeper impact upon the organization of the traditional state is often neglected. Even the macro-organization of a state may be affected; this will be the focus of this chapter. It aims to analyze and explore whether new ICT-enabled networks make it possible to change the size of an administrative jurisdiction or even eliminate levels of government. Using the German situation as an example, the main argument of this chapter is that in the e-government era, the amalgamation of municipalities is no longer an adequate reform policy.
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Beyond Electronic Service Delivery

E-government is usually associated with the idea of providing public services over the internet, making it possible for citizens to use public services regardless of local restrictions. Although this de-localization of the provision of services can entail a whole range of advantages for public administration (e.g., better citizen or client orientation), this perspective gives insufficient attention to administrative modernization. Even if all public services are available online, this will not necessarily lead to the modernization of administrative structures. Therefore, we must also include new structures of service delivery which are based upon new information and communication technology (ICT) in our understanding of e-government.

New ICT means that service delivery or the production of services can be also redesigned, increasingly without regard to physical location, so that more networking becomes possible. This represents an important modernization potential, because it means that processes can not only be redesigned internally, but also between organizations in a variety of ways. This makes it possible to generate additional efficiency and effectiveness increases, compared to the mere de-localized provision of services. Organizational service networks therefore arise which are only possible because they are based on new ICT: informatized public service networks (IPSN).

Nevertheless, IPSNs conflict with existing principles of public organization, which, especially in continental Europe, are based upon on territorial aspects, an important legacy of the Napoleonic tradition (B. G. Peters, 2008). In accordance with the territorial principle, an administrative level executes the tasks to produce the services it delivers. For that reason, a certain minimum territorial size is necessary to achieve the “minimum organizational size” required to efficiently and effectively provide services. This means that one of the central issues in the study of public administration is the optimum size in terms of territory for a local jurisdiction.

But, considering the network potential of e-government, it is questionable whether such a structural change (usually territorial enlargement) is still necessary. This is especially relevant for many European countries where demographic change is increasing amalgamation pressures as a way to realize more efficiency, especially in small municipalities. To phrase the question in a more general way, e-government raises questions about what is the most desirable state macrostructure.

Although the link between ICT and organizational change in general has often been discussed in the literature (e.g. van de Donk & Snellen, 1998, p. 9; Bekkers, 1998), the debate about macro-structural change and e-government has not. In this chapter, it is not the mutual relationship between ICT and organizational change which will be examined, but rather the enabling potential of ICT for the macrostructure of the state. To clarify, in the German context, the entire structure of the state (e.g., the number and size of administrative levels) is understood as the macrostructure (Frido Wagener, 1983), whereby this chapter is primarily about the local level.

This chapter is structured as follows: to begin, the main characteristics of IPSN and the general state of its implementation in Germany will be briefly outlined. Then, new IPSN will be analyzed against the background of the traditional territorial state model and from the perspective of new organizational models favored in the public governance and public management debates. In these debates, new models of macro-organizational change are already being discussed which refer to new organizational models but do not consider ICT. Third, the results of this enabling perspective analysis will be discussed and clarified through empirical case findings from different levels of local government in Germany. In addition, quantitative data will be used which were collected in cooperation with the German County Association (Deutscher Landkreistag). The empirical findings will be used in an explorative manner to examine and illustrate to what extent state macro-organization has already been affected and to test the analytical results of the previous section. Finally, general conclusions for the future of the state macrostructure and about the possibility of unintended negative effects will be drawn from these analytical and empirical results.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Territorial Organization: The oldest type of public sector organization which arose in conjunction with the state, a territorial organization consists of territory, people and political power or representation, giving it a high level of legitimacy. Territorial organizations are states, counties, cities, etc.

Shared Service Center: Shared service centers are, to the greatest extent possible, independent organizational units which deliver cross-departmental services for several internal customers, leading to networked service delivery. Repetitive support processes (e.g., personnel account, reservation processes) with high standardization potential are pooled in an independent organization which can be used by different organizations or organization units at the same time. This makes further specialization, quality improvements and cost reductions possible.

Functional, Overlapping, and Competing Jurisdictions: A concept within federalist economics. Jurisdictions are made up of spatially and functionally overlapping organizational jurisdictional units which also possess political organs. Each organization fulfills a specific function, although several organizations providing the same service may compete within the same territory. They compete with each other and possess political democratic legitimacy; the closest practical approximation to such a system might be school districts or transportation authorities in some areas of the United States which cross state or county boundaries. However, these authorities to not compete with each other in the same territory.

Macrostructure: The macrostructure of the state refers to how it is organized into jurisdictional levels, for example, the federal level, state level, county level and city level, or into functional organizations. This is distinct from the microstructure, which examines the internal structure of state organizations.

IPSN: Informatized Public Service Network. An organizational network involving two or more public organizations, enabled by and based upon information and communication technologies, which produces public services. IPSNs are based on the distribution of single process steps or services among the members of the network. Main characteristics of IPSN include informatization (not necessarily automatisation), and new forms of spatial as well as organisational work sharing.

Virtual Organization: Virtual organizations are a type of organization made up of several distinct organizations, connected through ICT, which perform a specific task or process, with each organization filling a niche within the process. Virtual organizations occur through networking of allocated organization units which are involved in a co-ordinated value added process based on the division of labour. Thereby processes can be redesigned not just within an organization, but also between organizations and if necessary between sectors.

Functional Organization: An organization which bears administrative responsibility for a clearly delineated functional field, equivalent as much as possible to the department principle. The need for functional organizations arose first at the end of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century, when the state began taking on more detailed tasks requiring higher levels of subject-matter expertise. When compared to a territorial organization, functional organizations have a higher capacity for specialization. An example of a functional organization is the Social Security Administration.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
G. David Garson
Preface
Christopher G. Reddick
Acknowledgment
Christopher G. Reddick
Chapter 1
Vishanth Weerakkody, Gurjit Dhillon
Most public services are overly complex, and separate where citizens have no choice in the service that they receive. All too often, Information and... Sample PDF
Moving from E-Government to T-Government: A Study of Process Reengineering Challenges in a UK Local Authority Context
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Chapter 2
Tino Schuppan
This chapter addresses the link between e-government, organizational networks related to it, and the possibilities for structural reform of... Sample PDF
Local Level Structural Change and E Government in Germany
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Chapter 3
Stephen King
This chapter describes a journey through e-enabled local public services. We start with the familiar local government Web site and contact centre... Sample PDF
Innovation and Citizen-Centric Local E-Government
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Chapter 4
Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira
This chapter shares experience on aspects related to the methodology and modeling of a framework of City E-Governance Readiness. We discuss Europe’s... Sample PDF
Assessing Local Readiness for City E-Governance in Europe
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Chapter 5
Mark Deakin
The chapter examines the IntelCities Community of Practice (CoP) supporting the development of the organization’s e-Learning platform, knowledge... Sample PDF
The IntelCities Community of Practice: The eGov Services Model for Socially Inclusive and Participatory Urban Regeneration Programs
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Chapter 6
Sarah Cotterill
In the United Kingdom and throughout the world there is increasing emphasis on public sector organizations working together in local partnerships.... Sample PDF
Local E-Government Partnerships
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Chapter 7
Ian McLoughlin
In the United Kingdom, major investments have been made in e-government in order to modernize government and improve the efficiency and quality of... Sample PDF
Towards Digital Governance in UK Local Public Services?
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Chapter 8
Bryan Reece, Kim Andreasson
There has been considerable attention given to the issue of unrepresentative access; however, research to date has focused on individual level... Sample PDF
Institutional E-Government Development
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Chapter 9
Tina Jukic, Mateja Kunstelj, Mitja Decman, Mirko Vintar
In this chapter, 3 main aspects of municipal e-government in Slovenia are investigated thoroughly: supply, demand, and the view of municipal... Sample PDF
E-Government in Slovene Municipalities: Analysing Supply, Demand and its Effects
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Chapter 10
Lourdes Torres, Vicente Pina, Basilio Acerete, Sonia Royo
This work tries to assess to what extent e-government enables transparency, openness and, hence, accountability in public administrations. For this... Sample PDF
E-Government and Accountability in EU Local Governments
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Chapter 11
Stephen K. Aikins
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation Sample PDF
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation
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Chapter 12
Janita Stuart, Val Hooper
The uptake of Internet voting for local government elections is still in its infancy worldwide. While it holds many potential benefits, there are... Sample PDF
Sociological Factors Influencing Internet Voting
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Chapter 13
Sonja Knapp, Yun Chen, Andy Hamilton, Volker Coors
Urban Planning is a multi-disciplinary process. Social-economic, environmental and natural resources issues need to be considered to ensure urban... Sample PDF
An ePlanning Case Study in Stuttgart Using OPPA 3D
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Chapter 14
Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Maria Manta Conroy
Municipalities often struggle to provide citizen participation opportunities that are informative and engaging. E-government tools hold the... Sample PDF
Local Government Experiences with ICT for Participation
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Chapter 15
Michael J. Jensen
This chapter analyzes the “impact” of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on local government officials’ policy decision-making.... Sample PDF
Electronic Democracy and Citizen Influence in Government
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Chapter 16
Yu-Che Chen, Ashley Dorsey
To meet the current and future senior citizens’ demand for e-government, local governments will need to have a better understanding of their needs.... Sample PDF
E-Government for Current and Future Senior Citizens
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Chapter 17
Don-yun Chen, Tong-yi Huang, Naiyi Hsiao, Tze-Luen Lin, Chung-Pin Lee
This chapter introduces a case of e-deliberation in Taiwan. Democratic deepening can be achieved by the application of information and communication... Sample PDF
Experimental E-Deliberation in Taiwan: A Comparison of Online and Face-to-Face Citizens' Conferences in Beitou, Taipei
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Chapter 18
Greg Streib, Ignacio Navarro
The development of e-government has attracted considerable scholarly interest in recent years, but relatively little has been written about the... Sample PDF
City Managers and E-Government Development: Assessing Technology Literacy and Leadership Needs
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Chapter 19
Zhenyu Huang
This chapter presents a comprehensive analysis of the 3,099 U.S. counties’ adoption and diffusion of e-government and the functions provided by... Sample PDF
U.S. Counties' Efforts and Results: An Empirical Research on Local Adoption and Diffusion of E-Government
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Chapter 20
Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Erin L. Borry
Government websites are quickly becoming the first point of contact for citizens and visitors seeking information. Local government websites’... Sample PDF
Transparency and Local Government Websites
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Chapter 21
Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan
The chapter is based on the results of an international survey of municipal Web portals conducted through a collaboration between the E-Governance... Sample PDF
E-Governance and Quality of Life: Associating Municipal E-Governance with Quality of Life Worldwide
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Chapter 22
Mete Yildiz
This chapter presents an analysis of local e-government adoption and implementation in Turkey. To this end, academic articles, various laws, and... Sample PDF
An Overview of Local E-Government Adoption and Implementation in Turkey
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Chapter 23
Bekir Parlak, Zahid Sobaci
This chapter aims to evaluate the e-government practices in metropolitan municipalities in Turkey by determining functionality levels of... Sample PDF
The Functionality of Website-Based Services of Metropolitan Municipalities in Turkey
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Chapter 24
Patrizia Lombardi, Ian Cooper, Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira, Mark Deakin
Harnessing ICTs effectively is one of the main vehicles for achieving the EU’s 2010 strategy to become the most competitive digital knowledge-based... Sample PDF
The Challenge of Designing User-Centric E-Services: European Dimensions
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Chapter 25
Raoul J. Freeman
This chapter reviews various strategic frameworks for e-government which include goals and objectives. Among typical goals are the following... Sample PDF
Goals Measurement and Evaluation of E-Gov Projects
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Chapter 26
Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Tommi Inkinen
Finland is among the leading information societies. The national information society strategy aims to make the information society accessible by... Sample PDF
E-Governance and the Information Society in Periphery
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Chapter 27
Sean M. Bossinger
Free, libre, or open source software (FLOSS) offers the promise of cost-free, modifiable, high-quality software, for a multitude of tasks (e.g.... Sample PDF
Open Source Software Use in Local Governments
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Chapter 28
Mark Cassell
This chapter examines empirically, the intended and unintended consequences that occur when a local government chooses to migrate away from a... Sample PDF
When Local Governments Choose Open Source Technology
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Chapter 29
The Wireless City  (pages 554-568)
Sukumar Ganapati, Christian F. Schoepp
In this chapter, we explore the evolution of wireless broadband networks in cities. We examine the technological alternatives for city-wide... Sample PDF
The Wireless City
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Chapter 30
Paul M.A. Baker, Avonne Bell, Nathan W. Moon
This chapter presents the results of an examination of the current state of U.S. municipal wireless network design and policies with regards to... Sample PDF
Accessibility Issues in Municipal Wireless Networks
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Chapter 31
Roland J. Cole, Isabel A. Cole, Jennifer A. Kurtz
The key reason for including this chapter in this book is that the development of more advanced forms of e-government requires that residences have... Sample PDF
Municipal Efforts to Promote Residential Broadband
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Chapter 32
Jenni Viitanen, Richard Kingston
This chapter will discuss the implications of the network society paradigm for e-government and the role of ICTs in the regeneration of urban... Sample PDF
The Role of Public Participation GIS in Local Service Delivery
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Chapter 33
Terry Murphy
Geographical Information System (GIS) technology applications for use in the field of economic development are relatively new. Local economic... Sample PDF
GIS: Changing the Economic Development World
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Chapter 34
Paul T. Jaeger
Many residents and local communities rely on public libraries for access to and training to use e-government. Many local governments direct citizens... Sample PDF
Public Libraries and Local E-Government
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Chapter 35
Muhammad Mustafa Kamal, M. Themistocleous
Literature indicates that Local Government Authorities (LGAs) have problems in meeting citizens’ demands. This may be attributed to the limitations... Sample PDF
Investigating Enterprise Application Integration Adoption in the Local Government Authorities
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Chapter 36
Jeffrey Roy
This chapter will compare the emergence of e-government in Denmark and Canada with a particular emphasis on the municipal and inter-governmental... Sample PDF
Enterprise Application Integration; Healthcare Organizations; Information Technology ; Large Organizations; Local Government Authorities
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Chapter 37
Genie N.L. Stowers
This case describes the case of a small California city, San Carlos, a continued early adopter in the e-government areas. The chapter asks the... Sample PDF
The Little City That Could: The Case of San Carlos, California
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Chapter 38
Howard A. Frank
ActiveStrategy’s performance management application deploys the widely utilized Balanced Scorecard framework in a dashboard platform designed to... Sample PDF
Implementing ActiveStrategy in Miami-Dade County
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Chapter 39
Greta Nasi
The purpose of this chapter is to assess the current status and level of technology in providing on line services among larger Italian... Sample PDF
E-Government and Local Service Delivery: The Case of Italian Local Governments
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Chapter 40
Andreas Ask, Mathias Hatakka, Åke Grönlund
This chapter discusses practices, opportunities, and challenges in local e-government project management by means of a case study involving... Sample PDF
The Örebro City Citizen-Oriented E-Government Strategy
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Chapter 41
Ik Jae Chung
As a nationwide e-government project in South Korea, the Information Network Village project was launched in 2001. It was designed to increase... Sample PDF
Toward E-Government Sustainability: The Information Network Village Project in South Korea
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Chapter 42
Samiaji Sarosa, Jenjang Sri Lestari
This chapter examined the state of Jogjakarta’s local governments Web sites (i.e, Bantul, Sleman, Kulon Progo, City of Jogjakarta and The Special... Sample PDF
The Level and Impact of Web Based E-Government Adoption: The Case of Jogjakarta's Local Governments
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Chapter 43
Maniam Kaliannan, Hazman Shah Abdullah, Murali Raman
Despite the many quarrels and complaints about the quality of local government in Malaysia, it continues to be an important part of the overall... Sample PDF
Local E-Government in Malaysia: An Empirical Investigation
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Chapter 44
Sam Lubbe, Shawren Singh
This chapter explores the issues of the interface between Information Systems (IS) and society. We investigate IS and users of these systems at a... Sample PDF
From Conception to Demise: Implications for Users of Information Systems in Changing a Local Parastatal Educational Institution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Chapter 45
José Rodrigues Filho, João Rodrigues dos Santos Junior
E-government has the potential to enhance democracy and transparency, increasing opportunities for citizen interaction. Literature has given many... Sample PDF
Local E-Government in Brazil: Poor Interaction and Local Politics as Usual
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Chapter 46
R. K. Mitra, M. P. Gupta, G. P. Sahu
While Information Technology (IT) is being embraced by various wings of the government, the police in India have however, been slow to adopt IT. The... Sample PDF
Indian Police E-Government System: A Study of Provincial Police
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Chapter 47
Arla Juntunen
There are still only few studies of the cooperation and collaboration of the governmental agencies and local authorities. This chapter presents a... Sample PDF
Joint Service Development with the Local Authorities
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About the Contributors