Comparing Citizens' Use of e-Government to Alternative Service Channels

Comparing Citizens' Use of e-Government to Alternative Service Channels

Christopher G. Reddick (The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-931-6.ch015
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Abstract

This chapter examines the role that e-government has over citizens’ lives when they initiate contact with their government. It also compares the influence that other contact channels have on citizens’ contacts with government. A public opinion survey is analyzed to determine what factors explain the different methods of contacting government, namely through the phone, e-government, visiting a government office, or a combination of approaches. There also is an analysis of the preferred choice of contacting government, examining different types of information or assistance that citizens’ can get from government. The results of this study indicate that e-government is just one of many possible service channels that citizens’ use, with the phone being the most commonly used. Citizens that use e-government, compared to other contact channels, are more likely to have high expectations of its impact on their search. When citizens need government information they are more likely to prefer the Internet; however, when citizens have a problem they are more likely to prefer the phone. The overall importance of the survey results indicate that e-government is just one contact channel for citizens, and resources should also be devoted towards other contact channels given their importance as well to citizens.
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Literature On E-Government And Citizens

The e-government literature that examines citizens and their contact with government can be grouped into two important themes: issues and constraints and socio-economic and demographic factors. These two themes should have an impact on citizen adoption of e-government compared to other contact channels such as the phone. This section examines the literature on each of these themes with reference to its impact on citizens’ use of e-government to initiate contacts with their government.

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