E-Government Service Development

E-Government Service Development

Mahmud Akhter Shareef (McMaster University, Canada) and Norm Archer (McMaster University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-848-4.ch001


E-government (EG) is an alternative channel to regular brick and mortar government office. This information and communication technology (ICT) driven delivery system offers government services to its different stakeholders in a more comprehensive, efficient, and effective way than it was through physical government office. At different stages of EG development and growth, functions, pattern, and capacities of offered services are distinctively different, and as such, association of technology is also different with these different stages. This chapter is designed to understand prime components, recognize stakeholders, and identify differentiable growth stage of EG. To fulfill this objective, this chapter is divided into four sections.
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Al Gore, former Vice President of the USA, has said: “In this fast-moving, fast-changing global economy — when the free flow of dollars and data are the source of economic and political strength, and whole new industries are born every day — governments must be lean, nimble, and creative, or they will surely be left behind” (Al Gore, 1993). This was the mission of EG when it was first introduced in the era of the fierce proliferation of information and communication technology (ICT). As a new and rapidly growing field, the concepts and theories of EG are still being developed. Researchers from different disciplines – such as political science, information systems, sociology, and organizational study – address the phenomenal paradigms of EG from the viewpoint of their fields. We have analyzed many different studies that discuss EG initiatives and missions, development strategies, proliferation and adoption, service maturity, and interoperability (Reddick, 2006; Al-Mashari, 2007; Gil-Garcia and Martinez-Moyano, 2007; Heeks and Bailur, 2007; Schedler and Summermatter, 2007; Wang and Liao, 2008; Van Dijk et al. 2008; Kim et al., 2009; Robin et al., 2009; Shareef et al. 2010a). It is clear that EG from its inception until now has aimed to accomplish not only the benefits of ICT in the public administration system, but also competence and competitive advantage in the present open market competition with the private sector. It can do this by introducing top quality, cost effective, and efficient citizen-centric service; offering a political gain through good governance; reforming organizations through power decentralization; and providing a citizen-centric administration system in the government organizational structure through cultural reformation. Other important aspects of EG are equal service availability for privileged and underprivileged groups across the country, and behavioral and attitudinal changes in individual and group performance. EG offers domestic economic gain from effective government service design and from the international attention received through proper image building of the country online and global interaction.

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