E-Government Development at the Global Level: An Analysis of the Effects of ICT Access and ICT Skills

E-Government Development at the Global Level: An Analysis of the Effects of ICT Access and ICT Skills

Muftawu Dzang Alhassan (School of Business, SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, Wa, Ghana), Ibrahim Osman Adam (University for Development Studies, Ghana) and Alhassan Musah (University for Development Studies, Ghana)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJTD.2021040102
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Abstract

This study examines the impact of ICT access and ICT skills on e-government development in 135 countries globally. Whilst extant studies in information systems research have examined the factors that lead to successful e-government development, these studies fail to view ICT access and skills as dual necessities such that without either, the success of e-government development can be derailed. Previous studies have also failed to consider the mediating effect of a country's political and regulatory environment on e-government development. The authors address these by relying on secondary data and partial least squares-structural equation modeling to test a model based on the technology-organization-environment framework. The results show that ICT skills positively influences e-government development, whilst ICT access and the political and regulatory environment do not. Furthermore, the political and regulatory environment was found to positively mediate the link between ICT access and e-government development. Whilst the findings make important contributions to e-government research at the global level, this research provides some implications for policy and practice.
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1. Introduction

The use of Information Technology (IT) by national stakeholder groups (such as citizens, firms, and governments) is increasingly being recognized as a vital step towards national development (Ajah & Chigozie-Okwum, 2019; Rothe, 2020) Today, governments and international organizations worldwide are spending substantially to improve their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capabilities in the public sector (Adam, 2020; Mouna, Nedra, & Khaireddine, 2020) Electronic government (e-government) services are of great benefit to the citizens and the government at large and has brought citizens closer to their governments (Bélanger & Carter, 2012; Adam, 2020). E-government has also ensured and promoted accountability, transparency, and reduced corruption levels (Bélanger & Carter, 2012; Mansaf, Halinah, & Asbi, 2017).

E-government is the use of ICTs and the web to improve access to and delivery of all aspects of government services for the benefit of various stakeholders such as citizens and businesses (Srivastava & Teo, 2007). The idea of e-government is to interact directly with citizens through the internet so that they do not have to visit government offices in person and wait for their turn to lay out their problems (Osman et al., 2014). Citizens' use of initiatives relating to e-government is experiencing increasing growth in various ways (Mensah, Carter-Steel, & Toleman, 2020; Sabani, Deng, & Thai, 2018). This is evidenced by the increasing reliance on the web to access government information, services, and facilitates electronic democracy or electronic accountability (Bélanger & Carter, 2012). According to a Statista (2019) report, 76% of individuals in the United States (US) relied on the web to access information from the government. Weather information, accompanied by transportation and data on crime were the most common types of online information accessed through government websites (Statista, 2019).

However, in light of the many merits of e-government to citizens, businesses, and the government, past studies have largely examined the effects of the individual constructs such as technology, environmental and organizational factors on e-government development, both at the country and global levels (Mansaf M., Halinah, & Asbi, 2017; Olumoye & Govender, 2018; Srivastava & Teo, 2006, 2007). There is a dearth of studies that examine the relationship between the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) constructs and how they influenced e-government development. In addition, the mediating role the environmental context plays in e-government development has largely been ignored by past research. Besides, past studies carried out on e-government development have largely been done in a single country context (Mansaf et al., 2017; Osman et al., 2014; Srivastava & Teo, 2009), limited studies have been undertaken at the global level. To address these gaps, we use secondary data from 135 countries whilst employing Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) and the TOE framework to first, examine the role of each of the TOE context of e-government development at the global level. Second, examine the mediating role of the environmental context on e-government development. This study is required to add to the body of knowledge in the field of e-government research at the global level.

The rest of the paper is presented as follows. In the next three sections, we present the theoretical stance of this study, the research methodology, and the analysis of results respectively. In sections 5 and 6, we present the discussion of results, and conclusion and recommendations for this study respectively.

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