Editorial

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 14 October 2014

122

Citation

Irani, Z. and Kamal, M. (2014), "Editorial", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 8 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-08-2014-0037

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Editorial

Article Type: Editorial From: Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Volume 8, Issue 4

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the fourth issue of the eighth volume of Transforming Government: People, Process, and Policy (TGPPP). Over the years, the constant update of the journal’s scope to advocate theoretical and empirical research has led to an increase in the quality of submissions and citations. The papers in this issue of TGPPP are mainly exploratory in nature, and provide a rich contextual background into e-Government, public domain and social media from different regions across Asia, Europe and Middle East.

This issue commences with a research paper by Emad Abu-Shanab, entitled “Antecedents of Trust in e-Government Services: An empirical Test in Jordan”. This research aims to improve our understanding of the factors influencing the Intention to Use (ITU) e-Government services. In doing so, this study reviewed the extant technology adoption research (Al-Gahtani, 2011; Abu-Shanab et al., 2010; Beldad et al., 2012) and proposed a conceptual trust antecedents model, where trust in government and technology, information quality, Internet familiarity and privacy and security concerns are hypothesised to predict Jordanians trust in e-Government. Moreover, trust in e-Government extended the theory of reasoned action in predicting the intention to use e-Government. This research, therefore, responds to the following two research questions:

RQ1. What are the factors influencing the degree of trust in e-Government services?

RQ2. What are the factors influencing the adoption of e-Government services?

To test the proposed conceptual model, an empirical study is designed using a survey instrument that measures the variables assumed to predict ITU or trust in e-Government. A sample population size of 759 Jordanian citizens using e-Government services was considered for final analysis – which satisfies the generalisability conditions and the adequacy of analysis (Hair et al., 1998). The findings of this study imply that governments need to raise public awareness to the usefulness of e-Government services and build trust in e-Government. Such implication calls for more efforts by the Jordanian government to add useful services to e-Government websites and improve its credibility and accountability.

Following the above research study, we have another research paper by Arjun Neupane, Jeffrey Soar, Kishor Vaidya and Jianming Yong presenting their research, entitled “Willingness to Adopt e-Procurement to Reduce Corruption: Results of the PLS Path Modelling”. This study aims to evaluate the potential of perceived benefits of public e-Procurement technologies to help control corruption in public procurement processes. The latter focuses on three vital key terms:

  • public procurement;

  • corruption in public procurement; and

  • how public e-Procurement can help to reduce the risk of corruption.

The research objective of this paper is therefore to assess the potential of public e-Procurement technology on the perception of the bidders in relation to the intent-to-adopt e-Procurement technology to reduce corruption in public procurement. The authors report on the research to investigate the bidders’ perceived willingness to participate in public e-Procurement systems when measured against the four main criteria of:

  • reduction of monopoly power;

  • information asymmetry;

  • increasing trust; and

  • transparency and accountability.

Based on the above four principles, the potential of public e-Procurement to reduce the chances of corruption in procurement processes has been discussed in the context of a developing country – Nepal. The conceptual findings are empirically validated through survey-based research, i.e. this research measured the perceived willingness of 220 bidders that were registered with the Government of Nepal.

Thereafter, we have Carmen Caba-Perez, Alejandro Sáez-Martín and Arturo Haro-de-Rosario, presenting their research entitled “A Vision of Social Media in the Smartest Spanish Cities”. This paper aims to analyse the extent to which the areas of urban environment defined as smart cities are using social networks as a means of enhancing democracy to ensure that citizens have better access to city information and participate to a greater degree in its governance. In essence, the prime objective of this research is to develop a new social media dimension. The researchers grounded their research on the extant research studies (such as Giffinger and Gudrunace, 2010; Cohen, 2012) and target to answer the following research question:

RQ1. How do smart cities use social networks to achieve greater citizen participation?.

As a result, this study aims to contribute to our understanding of the issues (e.g. increasing urban population, limited resources available in order to improve the population’s quality life, etc.) by confirming that different policies adopted to achieve smart city status have indeed influenced local administrations’ policies in favour of democratic participation. To achieve the aim of this research, the methodology is composed of two phases:

  • initially, a descriptive study is made of the cities’ use of social networks; and

  • thereafter, multiple linear regression analysis is performed to analyse the effect of the level of smartness on a city’s use of Facebook and Twitter.

The findings reported in this study focus on improving our understanding of the behaviour of smart cities and provide new insights into the relationship between smart cities and social networks.

Then, we have a paper by Euripidis Loukis, Lefkothea Spiliotopoulou, Yannis Charalabidis and Vasiliki Diamantopoulou entitled “A Framework for Advanced Social Media Exploitation in Government for Crowdsourcing”. To promote public participation and conduct crowdsourcing, this empirical research develops and evaluates in “real-life” pilot applications a framework for advanced social media exploitation by government agencies in their policy-making processes. This paper aims to contribute to theory and practice by achieving the following three research objectives are:

  • the development of a framework for advanced exploitation of multiple social media by government in an efficient and effective manner to collect knowledge, ideas and opinions from citizens, applying crowdsourcing practices in the public sector;

  • its elaboration, by developing an information and communications technology infrastructure supporting its application, and also an application process model for it; and

  • finally, to make a hypothetically thorough evaluation of this framework in “real-life” pilot applications.

The framework is developed with the cooperation and support of experienced public sector employees in the area of public policy-making process, using both qualitative (i.e. semi-structured focus group discussions) and quantitative (i.e. scenarios development and questionnaire surveys) methods. The empirical findings provide useful insights related to the capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of the proposed framework. In particular, it has been concluded that the proposed framework constitutes a time and cost efficient way of organising wide policy consultations, which reach wide audiences, communicate policy-related multimedia messages to them and stimulate and motivate them to think about public policies under formulation and express their relevant ideas, knowledge and opinions.

Then, we have Subhas Misra and Jayanta Chatterjee presenting their research, entitled “Emerging Scenario of Online Counselling Services in India: A case of e-Government intervention”. Through this research, Subhas and Jayanta provide insights to the emerging state of online counselling practices in India; moreover, they highlight the benefits of process transition, and explore potential research issues in this domain. The authors further argue that changing demands of labour market and growing availability of different education and training options in the higher/technical education sector emphasises the need of counselling services for an individual’s career guidance requirements. “Online counselling” in this context, as an e-Government intervention, is expected to meet this requirement by extending support to individual’s decision-making process and optimally match their interest with appropriate kinds of education. Career counselling and guidance has been a much-discussed subject over the years, which sought government’s involvement in many developed nations of the world (OECD, 2004). To pursue the research objectives, the authors adopted the sequence of steps proposed by Yin (2009), such as:

  • define and design (i.e. by reviewing relevant theories, understanding the broader research background, and selecting appropriate research case – online counselling for technical education in the state of Madhya Pradesh);

  • prepare, collect and analyse (i.e. gathering secondary data sources from government websites, including discussing with government officials); and

  • analysis and implications (i.e. evaluating the research gap and reporting the practical implications).

The findings indicate that design of online counselling services has largely been developed to fulfil the requirements of service providers, supporting the conventional set of practices of admission for filling up the seats in educational institutions, with less attention given at students’ decision support. The authors have discussed this case in the light of career guidance theories and rationalised the legitimacy of further research on potential service gaps and quality of information.

Thereafter, we have a paper by Anas Al-Soud, Hussein Al-Yaseen and Saheer Al-Jaghoub, entitled “Jordan’s e-Government at the Crossroads”. This research aims to evaluate the Jordanian citizens’ awareness and acceptability of e-Government services in different regions, and to use the results of this evaluation to predict where the Jordanian e-Government initiative stands. In doing so, this research provides answers to the following three research questions:

RQ1. What percentage of the Jordanian population is aware of e-Government services?

RQ2. What are peoples’ attitudes towards using e-Government services?

RQ3. What are the main factors and issues that affect the peoples’ attitudes towards using e-Government services?

To answer these questions (which needed a high rate of respondents to generalise the findings), the authors adopted a survey based research method as an appropriate instrument base to address the citizens’ awareness and usage of e-Government services. A total of 7,238 survey questionnaires were distributed to the three regions across Jordan from which 58.6 per cent responses were received. The findings indicate that the citizen’s interest in e-Government services is declining as the citizens’ level of awareness of e-Government and its services is still modest after more than ten years of the start of the e-Government program in Jordan.

Finally, we have Kayvan Miri Lavassani, Bahar Movahedi and Glenn Parry presenting their research entitled “The Broadband Internet Adoption Challenge: An Investigation of Broadband Utilization in the USA”. This paper aims to identify Internet adoption measures and develop Internet adoption models. The models are largely measurement models that identify the various aspects of Internet adoption in addition to the mechanism (i.e. list and structure of indicators) to measure Internet adoption. The authors claim that the adoption indicators and measurement models developed in this study can be used as bases for effective and efficient Internet adoption along with conducting more sophisticated impact analysis studies in the context area. In essence, this study empirically examines how broadband has been implemented at the business level and determining the prospective adoption benchmarks. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis techniques are used to create, analyse and develop Internet adoption models (Conway and Huffcutt, 2003). Through the empirical research, this paper contributes by presenting the list of Internet adoption measures for each business sector, and secondly, the measurement models which represent the factors of Internet adoption. The authors further assert that the findings presented are useful for businesses, communities and policy-makers. Moreover, the adoption models presented and discussed can be used to benchmark the improving competitiveness of businesses and communities.

We hope you will find this issue interesting and thought-provoking, and hope to receive your valuable contributions for the forthcoming issue (Table I).

Zahir Irani, Editor

Muhammad Kamal, Editorial assistant

References

Abu-Shanab, E. Knight, M. and Refai, H. (2010), “E-voting systems: a tool for e-democracy”, Management Research and Practice, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 264-274.

Al-Gahtani, S. (2011), “Modeling the electronic transactions acceptance using an extended technology acceptance model”, Applied Computing and Informatics, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 47-77.

Beldad, A., Geest, T., Jong, M. and Steehouder, M. (2012), “A cue or two and I’ll trust you: determinants of trust in government organizations in terms of their processing and usage of citizens’ personal information disclosed online”, Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 41-49.

Cohen, B. (2012), “What exactly is a smart city?”, available at: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680538/what-exactly-is-a-smart-city (accessed 15 July 2014).

Conway, J.M. and Huffcutt, A.I. (2003), “A review and evaluation of exploratory factor analysis practices in organizational research”, Organizational Research Methods, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 147-168.

Giffinger, R. and Gudrunace, H. (2010), “Smart cities ranking: an effective Instrument for the positioning of cities?”, Architecture, City and Environment, Vol. 4 No. 12, pp. 7-26.

Hair, J., Anderson, R., Tatham, R. and Black, W. (1998), Multivariate Data Analysis, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

OECD (2004), Career Guidance: A Handbook for Policy Makers, The European Commission.

Yin, R.K. (2009), Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 4th ed., Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.

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