Developing an E-Government Training Program: A Stakeholder Approach

Developing an E-Government Training Program: A Stakeholder Approach

Annie D. A. Abdullah (School of Business and Economics, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei), Calvin M. L. Chan (School of Business, SIM University, Singapore) and Syamimi Ariff Lim (School of Business and Economics, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJEGR.2016070103
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Abstract

Education and training is recognized to be important to the success of e-government. Nonetheless, research in e-government education has remained at a nascent phase. This paper advances the state of e-government education research through a case study. It answers the research question “How to develop an e-government training program.” Through the adoption of stakeholder theory as the theoretical foundation, and the analysis of the case data, a two-stage process model is developed. This model not only provides a theoretical explanatory basis for the process of developing e-government training programs, but also a practical guide for practitioners in developing such training programs. In addition, it is hoped that this paper will serve as a basis upon which future research can take reference in order to develop a cumulative tradition of employing theoretically-based approach to advance the state of e-government education research.
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Introduction

At the turn of the millennium, many government across both the developed and developing countries embarked on the implementation of e-government. e-Government can be defined as “the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), and particularly the Internet, as a tool to achieve better government” (OECD, 2003). Some of the benefits of e-government described in the literature included greater transparency, better national competitiveness, as well as greater efficiency and effectiveness of public services (Krishnan, Teo, & Lim, 2013; Rowley, 2011). However, many governments have not been successful in achieving these benefits in their e-government venture (Guha & Chakrabarti 2014; Ifinedo, 2011; Norris & Moon, 2005; Ebrahim & Irani, 2005). In particular, the developing countries are ostensibly encountering greater difficulty than the developed countries in achieving e-government success (Ifinedo, 2011; Kifle & Cheng 2009; Ndou, 2004). Some of the oft cited challenges faced by developing countries include inadequate information infrastructure, poor leadership and weak governance, as well as a lack of human and knowledge capital. In fact, studies have pointed to the importance of knowledgeable and skilled public servants and citizens in achieving e-government success (Dawes & Pardo, 2002; Estevez, Cellary, & Davies, 2014; Edelmann, Parycek, & Schossbock, 2013; Humnius & Schippen, 2013). Even though the need for excellent e-government training programs has often suggested to address such knowledge deficiency (Edelmann et al., 2013; Humnius and Schippen, 2013), a scan of the literature revealed a lack of insights on how an effective e-government training program targeting government executives and citizens can be developed.

This study thus aims to address this knowledge gap by asking the research question “How to develop an e-government training program?” through a case study on the training programs developed by the e-Government Innovation Centre (eGInC) in Brunei Darussalam. It is set up by the Brunei Government to build up its ICT human capacity and capability. eGInC won the ‘Citizen Engagement’ category of the 2012 Asia Pacific FutureGov Awards for the e-government training program it developed to equip Community Leaders in Brunei. Hence, it presents an opposite setting to conduct this exploratory case study to elucidate the process of developing an e-government training program. Moreover, in addressing the mistaken notion that e-government research often lacked theoretical rigor (Bannister & Connolly, 2015), stakeholder theory is adopted as the theoretical foundation to guide this research.

Existing studies in this area are mainly descriptive in nature (e.g. Edelmann et al., 2013), with the findings being specific to the context of these studies. As such, it is often difficult to transfer the findings from these studies to meet the contextual needs of different countries. In contrast, the resultant process model from this study provides a theoretically sound, conceptually parsimonious and yet practically deployable approach on ‘how to develop an e-government training program’. Being conceptual, the process model is versatile enough to be used by practitioners in both the developing as well as developed countries to design e-government training program that is suited to their unique context. The process model can also be used by academicians as a basis to evaluate and critique e-government training programs as well as to instruct on the process of developing e-government training program.

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