Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 1 August 2008


Irani, Z. and Dwivedi, Y.K. (2008), "Editorial", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 2 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/tg.2008.32602caa.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Volume 2, Issue 3

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the third issue of the second volume of Transforming Government: People, Process, and Policy. In this issue, there is an eclectic presentation of research covering topical issues associated with e-government.

Carter starts off with a paper exploring e-government diffusion and by doing so, comparing the adoption factors to identify the most salient predictors of e-government use. This study compares popular adoption constructs to identify the most influential. This is realized through a survey that was administered to elicit citizen perceptions of e-government services. The results of stepwise regression indicate perceived usefulness, trust of the internet, previous use of an e-government service and perceived ease of use all have a significant impact on one’s intention to use an e-government service. Perceived usefulness emerges as the most important factor in predicting e-government adoption. This factor alone explains 74.8 per cent of the variance in intention to use. In light of these findings, researchers should still explore the role of adoption factors in e-government diffusion. The proposed model is a robust, yet parsimonious way to explore the key factors that influence technology acceptance. This study includes the adoption perceptions of citizens from one state in the USA. Future studies should overcome this limitation by incorporating citizens from other regions and nations. This study illustrates the elements of e-government use that are most salient to citizens. Government agencies should focus on these factors when designing and promoting e-services. In this study, the author shows that the integration of TAM, trust and previous e-government experience work together to explain a large percentage of variance in intention to use e-government. In particular, perceived usefulness (aka relative advantage, aka performance expectancy) is the most salient predictor.

“Towards objective benchmarking of e-government” is the topic of study presented by Deng. This paper aims to develop a methodology for evaluating the progress of individual countries worldwide in their adoption of e-government with the rapid advance in information and communication technologies. Recognising the multi-dimensional nature of the progress evaluation and comparison process, this paper formulates the inter-country performance evaluation process in electronic government adoption as a multi-criteria analysis problem and presents an objective multi-criteria approach for solving the problem in an effective and straightforward manner. Several indicators (criteria) for measuring the progress of individual countries for adopting e-government have been reviewed, and existing approaches for carrying out inter-country comparison on electronic government have been analysed. The need for the use of an objective approach for addressing the inter-country comparison problem is discussed by Deng. This leads to the development of an objective multi-criteria approach for effectively solving the problem in a straightforward and effective manner. The proposed objective approach is based on the concept of information entropy which is emitted from electronic government criteria used for determining the objective weights of the e-government criteria. The principle of ideal solutions is used for effectively incorporating the objective criteria weights into the process of calculating the overall performance index for each country. As a result, an unbiased overall ranking of individual countries on e-government can be obtained.

With the use of an example in the paper, the proposed approach is proved to be of practical use for addressing the inter-country comparison problem on the progress of individual countries in their adoption of e-government. The proposed approach is not only able to provide an objective view of the relative progress of those countries concerned but also pinpoint the areas that these countries can further improve to lift their overall profile worldwide on the adoption of electronic government. The advantages of the proposed approach for addressing the inter-country comparison problem on electronic government are the capacity of the proposed approach for adequately handling the multi-dimensional nature of the inter-country comparison problem, and the provision of an objective view of the overall performance of those countries in the process of evaluating the progress of these countries in their adoption of electronic government. In addition the application of the approach can also help those countries pinpoint the areas that they can further invest their effort for further improvement.

Pinho and Macedo examine the antecedents and consequences of online satisfaction within the public sector: the case of taxation services. This paper aims to analyse the antecedents and consequences of online satisfaction within the context of e-government, which increasingly play an important role in modern public administrative management. Specifically, this study examines the taxation services offered through the web-based electronic declaration system. Following a quantitative methodological approach, a survey was applied to a sample of 351 certified accountants to empirically test the conceptual model. Structural equation modelling was used to test the conceptual model. The results of this empirical study validate four out of five hypotheses. It was found that convenience is an important antecedent of both satisfaction and online service quality. Additionally, findings suggest that both the degree of satisfaction and online service quality impacts on the intention of using the taxation website. Overall, results indicate that most of the relationships examined in the private service sector can be extended to the e-government context. This study offers the opportunity to rethink how the Portuguese Department of Taxation website provides online services and how it satisfies the needs of users while complying with their fiscal obligations.

In the paper presented by Siddiquee, “Service delivery innovations and governance” are explored within a Malaysian experience. The paper seeks to provide an overview of the service delivery innovations and reforms introduced in Malaysia’s public sector and examine and analyse their overall impacts on governance. The paper has adopted a combination of descriptive and analytical methods and is primarily based on secondary sources of data and information. While it provides a systematic review of general literature on service delivery innovations and those on Malaysia, the paper draws its conclusions on the basis of triangulation and careful analysis of data available in various local and international sources. Although Malaysia’s service delivery systems have of late witnessed a comprehensive set of innovative changes, public governance of the country continues to suffer from poor records and unfavourable ratings. Innovations and reforms introduced have so far produced generally positive but limited impacts. The paper demonstrates a number of key areas where the impacts of reforms have been clearly unsatisfactory. The issues and challenges identified in the paper and the policy implications proposed should aid the formulation of strategies and measures for further improving service delivery and governance in Malaysia and other similar contexts. The paper adds to the limited literature in public governance and service delivery in Malaysia. The findings of the paper are of practical significance to all those interested in this area – especially the policy makers and practitioners in Malaysia’s public service.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed assembling it for you, and look forward to receiving your valuable contributions for the coming issue.

Zahir IraniEditor

Yogesh Kumar DwivediAssistant Editor