Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 2 August 2011


Ali, M. and Kamal, M. (2011), "Editorial", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 5 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/tg.2011.32605caa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Volume 5, Issue 3

It gives us great pleasure to welcome you to the third issue of the fifth volume of Transforming Government: People, Process, and Policy. The research presented herein is investigative in nature and deals with contemporary and potential issues and themes related to e-government from a multiplicity of angles, providing a mixture of conjectural, and prudent contributions. For example, the topics covered within this issue focus on assessing efficiency of public policies planned to motivate voluntary inter-municipal affiliations, G2C adoption of online tax, a theoretical model for e-government adoption – the generic regulation model (GRM), e-discovery rules and electronic evidence – some US perspectives, and investigative study of organisational antecedents on employee job satisfaction.

This issue commences with a research paper by Maddalena Sorrentino, Massimo Simonetta. From an organisational perspective, the authors seek to assess the internal efficacy of public policies designed to stimulate voluntary inter-municipal partnerships. In particular, they also assess the capacity of such incentive-based policies to push the councils in the direction desired by the legislator, i.e. service sharing and joint policymaking. To validate their research findings, the authors adopted a qualitative case study based approach. During this exploratory case study, primary data from semi-structured interviews with administrators and public managers were collected and analysed along with secondary data on the inter-municipal partnerships established in the important Italian region of Lombardy. From empirical findings perspective, the authors question the assumption that access to additional resources is enough to induce the councils to collaborate in service sharing and joint policymaking. The authors further argue that while, on the one side, the councils’ organisational and managerial limitations condition their willingness and capacity to forge long-term relationships, on the other hand, the pressure on councils tasked with partnership implementation (especially the aggregation leaders) and the effort to ensure the orchestration of the activities and joint decision making lead them to opt for the less structured forms of cooperation (e.g. bilateral agreements). Unlike the mainstream studies on local partnerships, this paper addresses the policies that incentivise the setting up and development of such initiatives. The paper further develops the use of a model that policymakers will find a valuable aid in predicting agency responses to external mandates and in identifying the different types of potential implementation pitfalls.

This research paper is followed by the study that focuses on investigating the factors influencing citizens’ intention to use e-filing in Malaysian context. Authors of this research – Ramlah Hussein, Norshidah Mohamed, Abd Rahman Ahlan, Murni Mahmud, explored their research by adopting quantitative research methodology. For the purpose of this research, the authors distributed 500 self-administered questionnaires. Out of the 500 questionnaires, 411 were found usable for data analysis. Based on the theoretical findings, 14 hypotheses were formulated and tested. Their research established that perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, trust of the government, image, compatibility and service quality are found to be significant predictors of citizens’ intention to use e-filing in the context of Malaysian region. From the originality perspective, the authors propose a novel integrated research model of online tax adoption developed by integrating the technology acceptance model, diffusion and innovation, perceived characteristics of innovating, web trust and perceived risk, web service quality, and political self-efficacy dimensions (this paper was selected as one of the best papers from the European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS) 2010).

Following the previous research, this study is presented by Göran Goldkuhl. This research proposes a new theoretical model (the GRM) which is aimed for e-government development. Goldkuhl asserts that there is a need for such a generic model in order to describe and analyse the regulation that occurs in the interaction between governmental agencies and citizens. This new model has evolved through an action research project/practical inquiry in e-government. The project area was personal assistance to disabled persons. The practical inquiry has comprised generation and application of the GRM model (as a kind of empirical grounding) and also some initial theoretical grounding. From findings perspective, in the e-government project there was a need to conceptualise the relations between different governmental agencies and clients. As a response to this need a generic model and a corresponding situational model were developed. The paper also gives an epistemological account of the evolution of the new GRM model. GRM is considered to be a practical theory and it has evolved through a design-oriented practical inquiry. The author claims that this new GRM that should be adequate to apply in many e-government situations, since there are often regulation issues at stake.

Thereafter, we have Burke T. Ward, Janice C. Sipior, Linda Volonino, Carolyn Purwin exploring the challenges confronting organisations in responding to the recent electronic discovery (e-discovery) amendments to the United States (US) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The authors assert that failure to comply with these rules, even unintentionally, can have significant adverse legal consequences for parties of the lawsuit. The vast majority of information and data is electronic and stored in numerous files and on a variety of media. Thus, the authors claim that there is a critical need to better manage electronic content and implement a strategic approach to accommodate new rules, legislation, and ever-changing technology. In response, the authors provide recommendations for enterprise-wide e-discovery readiness. However, to investigate the legal theory for e-discovery, the authors examine precedent-setting legal cases for the purpose of providing managerial recommendations for developing and implementing a comprehensive policy for compliance and litigation purposes. According to their evaluation, the new rules make clear that electronic information and data are discoverable, and that failure to protect and store in a retrievable format may lead to adverse legal consequences. To better prepare for the duties imposed by the e-discovery amendments, the authors recommend the formation of an enterprise-wide multi-functional electronically stored information discovery team to develop, implement, and periodically review a comprehensive electronic records management policy and procedures for compliance and litigation purposes. The authors take into consideration the dearth of information systems literature addressing the critical need to better manage electronic content and to implement an enterprise-wide strategic approach to accommodate the requirements of e-discovery, or face costly consequences (this paper was selected as one of the best papers from the European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS) 2010).

Finally, we have Jamshed A. Halepota, Naimatullah Shah investigating the organisational antecedents on employee job satisfaction in a developing country. The authors report that increasing dynamic technological and communication net working environment today reflects to employee attitudes and behaviours with respect of their inputs. Employee motivation is an important and critical issue specifically for health organisation where they relate to patients. Their study focuses on the employee perception regarding procedural justices, on job training, esprit de corps and job clarity variables towards job satisfaction in a developing country. In pursuing their research, the authors adopted a cross-sectional study which applied a self-administered survey questionnaire for data collection. By using SPSS, analytical techniques were used to the results of descriptive statistics and Pearson’s correlations. The hypotheses were tested using the hierarchical regression analysis techniques. From empirical perspective, the authors exemplify significant and positive impact of procedural justices, on job training, esprit de corps for job satisfaction. However, employees reported less job satisfaction with their jobs due to lack of job clarity in a developing country. Nevertheless, their research has three limitations such as single source of data, examined limited factors, and small sample of population. With few limitations this study contributes to literature in the field of human resource management and organisational behaviour and can support public sector management to design policies that may help to enhance employee job satisfaction in the context of developing countries. Despite, this study provides empirical evidence of the employee job satisfaction in a developing country (this paper was selected as one of the best papers from the European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS) 2010).

We hope you will find this issue interesting and though provoking, and hope to receive your valuable contributions for the forthcoming issues.

Maged Ali, Muhammad KamalGuest Editors

Zahir IraniEditor