Handbook of Research on ICT-Enabled Transformational Government: A Global Perspective

Handbook of Research on ICT-Enabled Transformational Government: A Global Perspective

Vishanth Weerakkody (Brunel University, UK), Marijn Janssen (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) and Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Swansea University, UK)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: May, 2009|Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 582
ISBN13: 9781605663906|ISBN10: 1605663905|EISBN13: 9781605663913|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-390-6

Description

E-government has evolved from basic information provisioning to more integrated service offerings enabling citizen-centric services.

The Handbook of Research on ICT-Enabled Transformational Government: A Global Perspective provides comprehensive coverage and definitions of the most important issues, concepts, trends, and technologies within transformation stage e-government (t-government) implementation. A significant reference source within the technological and governmental fields, this Handbook of Research offers theoretical and empirical studies that communicate new insights into t-government for both researchers and practitioners interested in the subject.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Electronic government transformation
  • Eliminating knowledge and enhancing practices
  • Factors influencing enterprise applications
  • ICT-enabled transformational government
  • Instigating transformational government
  • Interoperability and integration enabling t-government
  • Interoperable systems in public sectors
  • IT governance in the public sector
  • Optimization of government processes
  • Process maturity in public sector
  • Shared services transforming the public sector
  • Social shaping of transformational government
  • Transformational government foundations

Reviews and Testimonials

This book provides an understanding and highlights some of the key challenges, issues and complexities involved in the transformational phase of e-government. It will help to understand the strategic, organisational, technical and social issues influencing business process and information systems change in public sector organisations in the context of t-government and the resulting overall impact of t-government upon citizens from a global perspective.

– Vishanth Weerakkody, Brunel University, UK

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Preface

The Rise of Transformational Government

Vishanth Weerakkody, Business School, Brunel University, UK
Marijn Janssen, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Yogesh K. Dwivedi, e-Business Research Center, Swansea University, UK

“...This is a time to push forward, faster and on all fronts: open up the system, break down its monoliths, put the parent and pupil and patient and law-abiding citizen at the centre of it. We have made great progress. Let us learn the lessons of it not so as to rest on present achievements but to take them to a new and higher level in the future…”
Prime Minister, Tony Blair, July 2005

The combined influence of the Internet and supporting ICTs have seen commercial enterprises reaching out to people and exploiting business opportunities that would have previously not been possible. Internet enabled e-business has also contributed to a significant increase in the speed and ease of business transactions making not only competition intense between organisations, but also requiring companies to integrate new and faster systems and adjust to new technology to meet the needs of customers. Although commercial enterprises and governments had little in common prior to the e-commerce era, government and industry e-commerce agendas have become more closely linked in recent times. Conversely, more people are now less tolerant of poor, impersonal service in the public sector as they become aware of the power of the web and experience good services in the private sector. Therefore, it is in every government’s interest to make their public services more efficient and available in order to satisfy citizens’ expectations, which has often eluded many governments and political leaders in modern society.

One of the key issues that public sector managers have to face when dealing with service improvement is traditional public administration practice that have been influenced by organisational cultures and practices that date back several decades. In many countries, the public services offered are highly bureaucratic and siloed where the citizens have no choice of service provider. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are overlaid onto existing organisational structures and processes without any consideration to how they can be improved. Consequently, changing the processes and behaviour of government organisations and establishing co-operation between government agencies is fraught with difficulty. In this backdrop, the concept of electronic government (e-government in short) was introduced to many countries around the world in the mid/late 1990s. The essence of e-government revolved around offering key public services on-line using a web portal. While it was relatively easy for governments to create national web portals to assert their electronic government (e-government) presence, this merely amounted to information being reorganised without any fundamental change to existing back office processes or information systems and technology (IS/IT). Moreover, from a strategic perspective, for e-government implementation to be widespread and successful, exemplary strategies and practices also need to be identified in addition to establishing and prioritising processes to be e-enabled. Furthermore, every e-government programme needs to have a clear idea of the proposed benefits to citizens, what challenges need to be overcome and the level of institutional change that needs to take place for it to be successful in a given context.

In the last few years e-government implementation efforts have evolved from basic information provisioning to more integrated and joined up service offerings in most developed countries. Having successfully implemented a number of transaction-based e-government services by e-enabling front office and customer facing processes, most developed countries are now working towards realising transformational government (or T-Government) as shown in the figure 1 below. The T-Government phase is dotted as this is not accomplished yet, and might be followed by a next phase that is not known yet.

The gap between the previous phases has been relatively small, whereas the gap to the T-Government phase is a bigger one. In the previous phases technology has primarily been used to reinforce existing structures. The transformational phase of e-government involves reengineering and e-enabling back office processes and information systems to enable more joined-up and citizen-centric e-government services. However, public sector transformation is a massive and complex undertaking involving distributed decision-making that requires a good understanding of the political context, culture, business processes and technology. Transformation requires design and engineering methods for breaking through the traditional boundaries between organizational units which requires the interplay between social and technological aspects. Therefore, transformation initiatives should not only target technological issues and deliver sound enterprise architectures and business processes, but should also consider the multi-actor environment and the change of culture and even the institutional setting. The overall aim of this book is to provide an understanding and highlight some of the key challenges, issues and complexities involved in the transformational phase of e-government. It will help to understand the strategic, organisational, technical and social issues influencing business process and information systems change in public sector organisations in the context of t-government and the resulting overall impact of t-government upon citizens from a global perspective.

In most western countries, transformational government or t-government has naturally evolved from e-government. Yet, there remains considerable confusion about t-government. The definitions offered for e-government differ according to the varying e-government focus and are usually centred on technology, business, process, citizen, or a functional perspective. These different schools of thought show there is no universally accepted definition of the e-government concept. However, we can distinguish between transformational government and e-government; t-government covers a broader organisational and socio-technical dimension which involves radically changing the structures, operations and most importantly, the culture of government. Given this context, we propose a definition for t-government that encapsulates a wider perspective of the transformational aspects of e-government. The new definition is as follows: “t-government is the ICT-enabled and organisation-led transformation of government operations, internal and external processes, structures and culture to enable the realisation of citizen-centric services that are transparent, cost effective and efficient”. This definition suggests a variety of objectives that need to be realized in parallel and we propose that the creation of citizen-centric services requires considerable changes at all levels which might need radical changes, rather than incremental improvement.

Overview of the book

This book covers theories, concepts, methods, frameworks, guidelines, technologies, and tools and techniques that are relevant to, and influence the transformational phase of e-government implementations. First, the book explores the concept of transformational government and relevant facilitators and inhibitors from a conceptual and practical perspective. Second, the book highlights the role of interoperability and integration in a t-government context. Third, the book looks at how knowledge and management support facilitates t-government. Fourth, the book highlights the significance of evaluation and measurement in e-government and t-government initiatives. Finally, the book explores adoption and diffusion related issues that influence e-government implementation and acceptance from a citizen centric angle.

The chapters that make up the book include contributions from academics, practitioners and policy makers and thus offer a balanced perspective of the strategic, organizational, technical and socio-cultural as well as theoretical and practical issues that have shaped the progress of electronic government and transformational government. In this sense, the book is a mix of theory and practice and therefore can be useful for academia (research and teaching) as well as practice (policy makers and implementers) .

The book offers readers: a) knowledge and understanding of the content and context of ICT enabled transformational government; b) insight into public sector processes and information systems from a global perspective; c) best practices and approaches for realizing public sector transformation; d) overview of the key literature and theories that have shaped e-government and t-government research and e) the opportunity to read the contributions from leading researchers around the world in the field of e-government and t-government in one handbook of research.

We hope you will enjoy reading this research handbook as much as we did putting it together. We certainly learned much from the diverse chapters that are offered in the book.

Vishanth Weerakkody, Marijn Janssen and Yogesh K Dwivedi
Co-Editors

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Vishanth Weerakkody is a member of faculty in the Business School at Brunel University (UK). VW was previously a faculty member in the Department of IS and Computing at Brunel University and he has held various IT positions in multinational organizations, including IBM UK. VW is a member of the British Computer Society, Chartered IT professional and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Electronic Government Research.
Marijn Janssen is an associate professor within the Information and Communication Technology section and Director of the interdisciplinary SEPAM Master program of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. He has been a consultant for the Ministry of Justice and received a PhD in information systems (2001). He serves on several editorial boards and is involved in the organization of a number of conferences. He published over 100 refereed publications.
Yogesh K. Dwivedi is a lecturer at the School of Business and Economics at Swansea University in the UK. He was awarded his MSc and PhD by Brunel University in the UK, receiving a Highly Commended award for his doctoral work by the European Foundation for Management and Development. His research focuses on the adoption and diffusion of ICT in organisations and in addition to authoring a book and numerous conference papers, has co-authored papers accepted for publication by journals such as Communications of the ACM, the Information Systems Journal, the European Journal of Information Systems, and the Journal of the Operational Research Society. He is Senior Editor of DATABASE for Advances in Information Systems, Managing Editor of Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Assistant Editor of Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy and a member of the editorial board/review board of a number of other of other journals, and is a member of the Association of Information Systems, IFIP WG8.6 and the Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management, New Delhi.

Indices

Editorial Board

  • Wendy L. Currie, University of Warwick, UK
  • Guy Fitzgerald, Brunel University Uxbridge, UK
  • M.P.Gupta, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India
  • Steve Jones, CONWY County Borough Council, UK
  • Kalil Khoumbhati, University of Sindh, Pakistan
  • G. P. Sahu, M N National Institute of Technology Allahabad – 211004, India
  • Mohini Singh, RMIT University, Australia
  • Rajiv Ranjan Tewari, University of Allahabad
  • Michael D. Williams, Swansea University, UK