Veteran Service Management and E-Government Service Delivery Performance
Assion Lawson-Body (University of North Dakota, USA), Glenn Miller (University of North Dakota, USA) and Thomas M. Saddler Jr. (Veterans Service Office, USA)
Copyright: © 2006
The importance of electronic service delivery was recognized at the beginning of the emergence of the Internet (Huang & Hu, 2004); thereafter much attention has been devoted to it as a solution to the issue of the traditional service delivery system (Cetiner & Ryan, 2004; Gassan, De Boer, Mourshed, & Rea, 2001). Too often there is little or no congruence between the image of the service communicated by the service firm and the service actually delivered. This leads to unmet customer expectations and probably to non-satisfied customers, who have lost their faith in the firm and its ability to keep its promises. Governments also invest in veteran service management (VSM) and e-government to increase their service delivery performance. Veterans are the nation’s population who have been discharged or retired after serving on active duty with the United States Armed Forces. E-government refers to efforts in the public sector to use information and communication technologies to deliver government services and information to the public (Gant & Gant, 2002; Gefen, 2002). Government agencies face challenges in making veterans aware of the benefits of online services they are receiving. Anecdotal evidence shows the Internet’s Web portal can enable governments to increase their e-service delivery performance. However, there is little existing research that has tested how the use of Web portals to strengthen existing VSM can increase e-government service delivery performance. The primary objective of this study is to examine how VSM, using Web portal aggregation, may impact electronic service delivery performance. Specifically, the study examines: • the theoretical foundation of VSM, • the theoretical impact of VSM on government service delivery performance, • theoretically and empirically how VSM, supported by Web portal aggregation, may impact e-government service delivery performance. This research focuses on government Web portals that deliver electronic services to veterans. The Web portal of the North Dakota Government Rural Outreach (GRO) Initiative has been selected as the sample U.S. government Web portal for this research. That Web portal has been chosen because it has a component dedicated to veterans and county veteran service officers (CVSOs). Data were collected through open-ended interviews with CVSOs. A total sample consists of 10 CVSOs. The study used content analysis to analyze data obtained from a sample of CVSOs, using the GRO Web portal, to test the hypotheses. The CVSOs assist all veterans and their dependents in obtaining all benefits to which they are entitled, both federal and state. The CVSOs are chosen because they play the role of intermediary between veterans, veteran service and benefits providers, and government agencies. CVSOs interact on G2G (government to government) and G2C (government to citizen) basis in order to serve veterans.