Trust in Digital Government

Trust in Digital Government

N. C. Rowe
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch241
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The concept of trust in organizations has been an important area of recent research in sociology and management science (Sztompka, 1999). Trust is positive expectations of positive actions by others, and is important to well-functioning organizations of all sorts. Trust facilitates the effectiveness of government. A focus on trust leads to a more humanistic view of individuals within organizations than that of the traditional managerial psychology of humans solely as input-output devices whose performance must be monitored and measured. New technology changes the form of government operations. So it is natural to ask how trust is affected by the advent of the technologies and practices of digital government, as it is affected by online security practices (Friedman, Kahn, & Howe, 2000). On the one hand, digital government should be more efficient government, and people trust more in well-run, efficient processes. On the other hand, digital government could enable governments to evade responsibility for their actions by imposing new barriers to citizens, restricting access to information more, falsifying information more easily, and providing a new set of excuses for inefficiency. Some extremists (Postman, 1993) claim that most technology cannot be trusted, but few people agree. So the issue needs to be examined at length.

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