Co-Creating Public Value in E-Government: A Case Study of Korean Municipal Government Websites

Co-Creating Public Value in E-Government: A Case Study of Korean Municipal Government Websites

Seulki Lee-Geiller, Taejun (David) Lee
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJEGR.2019100102
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Prior e-government development models have tended to consider e-government development per se as a goal, rather than as a means to an end. Considering the public value creation as a goal of public organizations, recent studies have assessed government websites from public value perspectives, but they have focused on the internal production of universal public value and overlooked contextualized public value co-creation. This study examines the ways in which e-government development models may be extended to contextualized public value co-creation, using a mixed-methods approaches. This study provides evidence for the extension to a contextualization stage that complements the goal-oriented vision.
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The increasing gap between citizens’ expectations and government capabilities is likely to strike at the democratic legitimacy of representative governments. As the roles of civil society have become incorporated into the broader governance system (World Economic Forum, 2013), scholars have observed a transition in the paradigm of governance from state-centric managerial forms towards a more deliberative and participatory mode in which the government and citizens continuously interact and collaborate to produce suitable public value (Barber, 2003; Becker & Slaton, 1997; Reddel, 2002).

The adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the public sector, namely, e-government, can transform not only administrative machinery, by improving efficiency and effectiveness in delivering public services (Asgarkhani, 2005), but also the development process of public policy, by authorizing public participation, thereby supporting participatory governance. Prior studies (Andersen & Henriksen, 2006; Janowski, 2015; Layne & Lee, 2001; Lee, 2010; West, 2004) have discussed how e-government develops and the implications of e-government for democratic and participatory governance (Anttiroiko, 2004; Lee-Geiller & Lee, 2019), and the relevance of public value theory in e-government studies (Al Rawahi, Commbs, & Doherty, 2016; Cordella & Bonina, 2012; Harrison et al., 2010; Karkin & Janssen, 2014; Karunasena, Deng, & Harasgama, 2013), regarding transparency, efficiency, and accessibility. However, as the definition of public value vary according to the specific needs in the relevant social, political, and economic context (Janowski, 2015), the authors posit that it is crucial to facilitate contextualized public value co-creation, supported by e-government development, as it can help to bridge the gap between citizens’ expectations and government performance.

In response, this study investigates the ways in which the e-government development towards participatory governance may facilitate the co-creation of public value that is contextualized to the needs of local communities, taking a mixed-methods approach. This article contributes to the literature by not only reaffirming the benchmarks of the e-government development model, but also extending e-government models towards contextualized public value co-creation. Our study also provides insightful knowledge of the multiple dimensions of the co-creation process in local e-government, thereby offering the ways to meet the needs of citizens better.

The next sections discuss theoretical relevance to derive a conceptual hypothesis, describe the research design and methods, and subsequently, explain the results of the data collection and analysis. Finally, the authors discuss the theoretical and policy implications of this study, as well as its limitations and further research directions.

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