Evaluating the Impact of E-government on Citizens: Cost-Benefit Analysis

Evaluating the Impact of E-government on Citizens: Cost-Benefit Analysis

Tong-yi Huang (National Cheng-chi University, Taiwan) and Chung-pin Lee (National Cheng-chi University, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-931-6.ch003
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Since the early 1990s, the trend of e-government has attracted scholarly attention to the issue of how governments apply the information and communication technologies (the ICTs) in different services. While most studies focus on “what” and “how” questions of e-government, relatively little literature addresses the issue of “to what effect” it has on citizens. To fill this void, from user-centric perspective, this study examines Taiwan’s e-government performance, which has been ranked by international institutions as one of the top performers worldwide. The authors use a telephone interview data set from a survey conducted in 2007 with a random sample of 2000 respondents to analyze what impact the ICTs applications in administrative service and democracy improvement have on citizens in terms of cost and benefit. The authors’ findings show that e-government has had a significant, positive impact on citizens regarding their time saving, perception of information credibility, and satisfaction with the government. The results also suggest that the ICTs facilitate broader distribution of political information, a key to the success of e-democracy. The authors conclude this chapter by proposing suggestions for further strategic planning and critical research issues.
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Literature Review

Based on the perception that the ICTs can be a powerful tool to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public services and to improve the quality of public participation, modern democratic nations have been recognizing them as an important part of public governance since the early 1990s. In particular, “e-government” is the most significant innovation during this period of time both in academia and in the practical arena. The emergence of e-government could be traced to the accompanying report of the National Performance Review, which was called “Reengineering through Information Technology” in the Clinton Administration (Lenk & Traunmuller, 2002). Since citizens are the principal service receivers of e-government, citizens’ perspective regarding what the e-government services bring to citizens’ life should be important. There have been highly recommended qualifications that e-government has to satisfy users’ needs (Horan et al., 2006). This argument brings the first significance of assessing the impact of e-government on citizens. Unfortunately, most existing e-government research focused on the perspective from the supply side (Reddick, 2005), not the (user-centric) demand side. Whether there is a gap between the perspectives of citizens and bureaucrats is unknown (Moon and Welch, 2005), and the bureaucrats may not be aware of whether e-government achievements have already met citizens’ expectations.

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