Electronic Government

Electronic Government

A. Gronlund
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch097
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Digital government, electronic government, online government, wired government, virtual government—there are many terms used to refer to the contemporary strong focus, in practice as in research, on increasing the amount and sophistication of information and communication technologies (ICT) use in government and governance processes. While the terms are largely used as synonyms, there is no unambiguous definition of the field. Some use the terms to refer specifically to government services to citizens (G2C), but definitions by influential actors typically define electronic government in governance terms. The former definitions typically focus on efficiency issues, often directly concerning the ICT components, while the latter ones concern effectiveness and focus on systems aspects, organizations, and social systems in general, rather than individual components. While reduced cost per delivered form is a typical measurement emanating from research following from the first kind of definition, reduced corruption is one from the latter. This article investigates the content of the electronic government (e-gov) field briefly by exhibiting (1) definitions, theoretically anchored ones as well as definitions-in-use emerging from practice, (2) examples of work, including steps in the development over time, (3) models for evaluation, and (4) considerations about the future of the phenomenon based on the development so far. Altogether this gives a view of a vast field, not unequivocally defined but in practice framed by a number of similar practices, strategies, critical issues, and technologies. It is also regularly monitored globally by methods commonly used. While these are not uncontested and subject to different technical, social, and business-oriented viewpoints, they do contribute to the framing of the field as a practice.

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