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E-government development and the digital economy: a reciprocal relationship

Fang Zhao (The University of South Pacific, Suva, Fiji & American University of Shajah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Joseph Wallis (SBM, American University of Shajah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Mohini Singh (Business Information Technology Department, Royal Melbourne Institute Technology University, Melbourne, Australia)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 5 October 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to capture and understand the nature of the relationship between e-government development and the digital economy.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the Technology Acceptance Model and Fountain’s technology enactment theory, a multidimensional research model was developed. The model was tested empirically through an international study of 67 countries using reputable archival data, primarily including the UN’s e-government survey and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s digital economy rankings.

Findings

The empirical findings indicate a strong positive reciprocal (two-way) relationship between e-government development and the digital economy. This finding provides empirical evidence to support the general notion of “co-evolution” between technology and organisations. The study also finds that along with social, economic, political, technological and demographic factors, certain national cultural characteristics have significant effects on the digital economy and e-government development.

Research limitations/implications

Relying on archival global data sets, this study is constrained by the coverage and formulation of the data set indices, the sample size (67 countries), and the impossibility of detecting errors that may occur in the process of data collection. Therefore, caution should be taken when making generalisations about the findings of this study.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a deficit of empirical research that is supported by sound and established theories to explain short-term dynamics and the long-term impact of the digital economy on public administration. The study contributes to a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the dynamic relationship between e-government development and the digital economy.

Keywords

Citation

Zhao, F., Wallis, J. and Singh, M. (2015), "E-government development and the digital economy: a reciprocal relationship", Internet Research, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 734-766. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-02-2014-0055

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited