Determinants of Intention to Use Local E-Government Services in Ghana: The Perspective of Local Government Workers

Determinants of Intention to Use Local E-Government Services in Ghana: The Perspective of Local Government Workers

Isaac Kofi Mensah (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China) and Jianing Mi (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/IJTD.2018040103

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to investigate factors determining the intention to adopt and use local e-government services in Ghana. A research questionnaire was administered to potential respondents in Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs). The data was analyzed with SPSS while the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used as the theoretical framework for this study. The results demonstrated that, apart from education, demographic factors such as age and gender were all significant and have a direct impact on intention to use local e-government services. Predictors such as perceived ease of use, perceived service quality, and trust were also found to be significant in influencing the use of local e-government services but interestingly, computer self-efficacy has no significant impact on the intention to use local e-government services. The implications of these findings on local e-government implementation are further discussed.
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Introduction

Electronic government is the application of ICT to provide citizens and business with efficient and effective government information and services (Fedotova, Teixeira, & Alvelos, 2015). Governments are challenged to transform and reinvent the public administration processes through e-government due to the current technological evolution and constant demand by the citizenry for efficient and effective public services (Sá, Rocha, & Cota, 2016). Local e-government is considered as a form of e-government that is related or concerned with local government. Local e-government is the improvement, effectiveness, and efficiency of local government authority using the power of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to lead, manage and deliver better local government public services to all communities within its jurisdiction (Rahman, 2009). The concept of local e-government is to encourage and enhance citizen engagement and participation for better service delivery (Rahman, 2009). Local e-government system could comprise of an integrated online resource designed to provide electronic access to government delivery intermediaries, promote inter-organizational integration at the local level, provide linkage to technology, policy, and organizational management, empower local authorities with greater independence and autonomies; to deliver efficient, citizen-centric and cost-effective contents to accelerate participation and partnership based e-services (Rahman, 2009). Local e-government is also defined as the provision of local government information and services through information and communication technologies (ICTs) (Yildiz, 2009). The goals of major reforms in the public sector over the years is to increase the efficiency of government operations, strengthen democracy, enhance transparency and provide quality, better and more versatile services to citizens and business (Coe, Paquet, & Roy, 2001; La Porte, Demchak, & De Jong, 2002; Watson & Mundy, 2001). E-government through a local e-government system has been identified as the vehicle through which these public-sector reforms could be attained. Local e-government through internet technologies have the potential to enhance the interactivity, increase trust in government, transparency as well as the openness and accountability of public sector agencies (Kim, Halligan, Cho, Oh, & Eikenberry, 2005; La Porte et al., 2002). Countries and regions are pursuing decentralization through local e-government due to its power to reduce the cost of service delivery, improve service quality, increased accountability and improved equity or enhance stronger citizen participation in the governance process (Fox & Gurley-Calvez, 2006).

Local government is defined as a subnational level of government with jurisdiction over a limited range of state functions, within a defined geographical area which is part of a larger territory (Miller, 2002). Miller (2002) distinguished between local government and local governance by stating that local government refers to the institution or structures which exercise authority or mandated to carry out governmental functions at the local level whilst local governance is the processes through which public choice is determined, policies formulated and decisions are made and executed at the local level.

Decentralization is the transfer of state and national responsibility or functions from central government to sub-national levels of government. It could also be from central agencies to regional bodies and may be described as the redefinition of structures, procedures, and practices of governance to be close to the public/citizenry (Miller, 2002). These two concepts i.e. local government and decentralization have been used interchangeably but Miller (2002) states that they are not synonymous and not the same. For Miller (2002) local government represents some form of decentralization but decentralization does not always take the form of local government since different forms of local government models could represent some forms of decentralization. Local government, in essence, is considered the highest form of decentralization.

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