Success and Failure of Local E-Government Projects: Lessons Learned from Egypt

Success and Failure of Local E-Government Projects: Lessons Learned from Egypt

Hisham M. Abdelsalam (Cairo University, Egypt), Christopher G. Reddick (University of Texas at San Antonio, USA) and Hatem A. El Kadi (Cairo University, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1740-7.ch010
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This chapter examines the Information Systems success model in the Egyptian context. Much of the existing literature on information system success focuses primarily on the private sector. There are fewer studies that examine success in the context of the development of e-government. This study focuses specifically on local e-government development of projects in Egypt. A survey is administered in three local governments on actual users of Information Systems. The results of this study confirm much of the existing research on information system success, but highlight the importance of net benefit as a success factor that examines the organizational and managerial context of e-government development. The importance of this research indicates that managerial functions matter for the success of e-government projects.
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Success And Failure Of E-Government Projects

It is critical to know the unique challenges and opportunities facing an African country in order to determine the best way to align e-government with national development goals (Maumbe, Owei, & Alexander, 2008; Schuppan, 2009). For instance, there is a lot of “hype” about e-government implementation in Africa and in its ability to transform service delivery. However, these extremely advanced systems may not work in the context of a developing country and should be modified to fit the context of the country (Chen, Chen, Ching, & Huang, 2007).

With the advancement of e-government in developed countries, it is increasingly important to know the reasons for successes and failures of e-government projects (Heeks, 2002a). Research shows that the success rates of African information systems projects have been low, compared to many Western industrial societies (Berman & Tettey, 2001). However, being progressively dependent upon IT development, the reform of African government is significant to study (Peterson, 1998).

On comparing the success rates of information systems in the public to the private sector, governments generally lag behind (Goldfinch, 2007). This is especially apparent in developing countries where there are many factors beyond the control of the project, most notably lack of bureaucratic inertia that prevents wholesale change from a new e-government system (Peterson, 1998). In addition, the larger the scale and scope of the IT project, the more likely for failure of the system (Pardo & Scholl, 2002; Heeks, 2002b; Goldfinch, 2007). There is also the issue of complexity of the system, and this increases the risk of failure of the system in its implementation (Melin & Axelsson, 2009). Besides the issues of bureaucratic culture that prevents the implementation of e-government projects in developing countries, some other common barriers are poor infrastructure, lack of finances, poor data systems and capability, lack of skilled personnel, and leadership styles (Gichoya, 2005).

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