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Understanding the “e‐petitioner”

Peter Cruickshank (Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Colin Smith (Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to consider the ways in which large‐scale e‐participation projects can be evaluated. It argues that existing evaluation approaches can be improved upon by taking a closer look at the characteristics of the users of such systems, by estimating their self‐efficacy.


Literature review is followed by the development of relevant research questions, and an assessment of points at which relevant and useful data can be collected in a petitioning process.


It is found that data relating to self‐efficacy, while not simple to collect, can add much to the evaluation process, and have the potential to result in more effective projects and systems.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are specific to one project, EuroPetition, which will allow the co‐ordination and submission of cross‐border pan‐European petitions.


The paper represents the first attempt to integrate perspectives derived from social cognitive theory to the evaluation of a large e‐participation project. Self‐efficacy is discussed in terms of both computer self‐efficacy and political self‐efficacy.



Cruickshank, P. and Smith, C. (2011), "Understanding the “e‐petitioner”", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 319-329.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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