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Article

Rana Tassabehji, Ray Hackney and Takao Maruyama

The purpose of this paper is to consider recent field evidence to analyse what online public services citizens need, explores potential citizen subsidy of these specific…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider recent field evidence to analyse what online public services citizens need, explores potential citizen subsidy of these specific services and investigates where resources should be invested in terms of media accessibility. The authors explore these from a citizen-centric affordability perspective within three exemplar developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank and United Nations in particular promote initiatives under the “Information and Communication Technologies for Development” (ICT4D) to stress the relevance of e-Government as a way to ensure development and reduce poverty. The authors adopt a contingency value approach to determine directly reported citizens willingness to pay for digital public services. Hence, our focus is mainly upon an empirical investigation through extensive fieldwork in the context of sub-Sahara Africa. A substantive survey was conducted in the respective cities of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Lagos (Nigeria) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The sample of citizens was drawn from each respective Chamber of Commerce database for Ethiopia and South Africa, and for Nigeria a purchased database of businesses, based on stratified random sampling. These were randomly identified from both sectors ensuring all locations were covered with a total sample size of 1,297 respondents. It was found, in particular, that citizens were willing to pay to be able to access digital public services and that amounts of fees they were willing to pay varied depending on what services they wish to access and what devices they use (PCs or mobile phones).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a contingency value approach to determine directly reported citizens willingness to pay for digital public services. A survey was conducted in the respective cities of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Lagos (Nigeria) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The sample of citizens was drawn from each respective Chamber of Commerce database for Ethiopia and South Africa, and for Nigeria a purchased database of businesses, based on stratified random sampling. These were randomly identified from both sectors ensuring all locations were covered with a total sample size of 1,297 respondents.

Findings

The findings suggest that by understanding citizen needs, demands and how they can benefit from online public services could drive decisions related to what public services need to be prioritised for economically active citizens, potentially explore citizen subsidy of these specific public services which will have a trickle-down benefit to poorer citizens by reducing the pressures on traditional channels of public service delivery and investigate where resources should be invested in terms of media to access online services. Willingness to pay between the top online public services showed no statistically significant difference among all respondents.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused on economically active digitally savvy citizens in the major capital cities in each of our selected countries. While these are not representative of the population at large, our intention was to understand what citizen-led government services would look like from the perspective of this group, with an insight into the value they place on these online services and their ability to access them. Technology diffusion starts with the early adopters (Rogers, 2010), and here the authors have focused on those that are likely to be early adopters.

Practical implications

Poor fiscal capacity, namely, the amount and type of resources a state has at its disposal, not only has an impact on economic wellbeing, but particularly relevant in this case, also has an impact on the quality of government (Baskaran and Bigsten, 2013). Thus, e-government is one way in which developing countries can focus on developing good governance and strengthening civil society to improve the quality of government and motivate citizens to participate in the political process.

Social implications

The economic performance of African countries has been viewed with pessimism, consistently considered to be the poorest continent (Harrison et al., 2014). Recent studies have empirically shown that new information technologies have contributed to longer term economic growth in African countries and stress the need for government to further invest in developing telecommunications infrastructures and internet access (Donou-Adonsou et al., 2016). However one of the major constraints and challenges for developing countries is the limited fiscal capacity and ability to mobilise fiscal resources to finance the provision of public services, which is essential for economic development (Ali et al., 2015).

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the World Bank and United Nations initiatives to promote ICT for Development’ (ICT4D) the relevance of e-government as a way to ensure development and reduce poverty. If online services are of no benefit, even if they are more convenient and lower cost, they are unlikely to be used. Accessing digital public services directly addresses the needs of economically active citizens and can also facilitate the steps towards an improved quality of government and interaction with civil society. The study has contributed to an insightful understanding of the value, cost and benefits of citizen-led e-Government in this respect.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article

Takao Bamba, Hisaichi Maruyama, Eiichi Ohno and Yasunori Shiga

Vision sensor for arc weld seam tracking uses a projected line of light scan from a high power infrared LED, which is detected by a two‐dimensional position‐sensitive…

Abstract

Vision sensor for arc weld seam tracking uses a projected line of light scan from a high power infrared LED, which is detected by a two‐dimensional position‐sensitive photocell. It is compact enough to be mounted on a robot hand and works well on surfaces of poor reflectivity.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article

Takao Maruyama and Susanne Tietze

This paper aims to compare pre‐telework anxieties, expectations and motivators reported by 394 teleworkers with their corresponding actual experiences of telework.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to compare pre‐telework anxieties, expectations and motivators reported by 394 teleworkers with their corresponding actual experiences of telework.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an organizational survey, 394 samples were generated who had been teleworking for less than 12 months at the time of the survey. By using χ2 tests, comparisons were made between pre‐telework expectations and post‐telework outcomes reported by teleworkers with different characteristics such as gender, job type, the presence of dependent children, and working hours spent at home.

Findings

The study found that prior to adopting telework sampled teleworkers tended to underestimate positive and overestimate negative experience of telework. It further demonstrated some statistically significant differences in pre‐telework expectations and post‐telework outcomes reported by different groups of teleworkers. For example, female teleworkers were more likely to report that telework made it easier to cope with caring responsibilities. Sales and marketing teleworkers were more likely to report reduced visibility and career development.

Practical implications

Implementing and maintaining successful telework schemes requires managers to take heed of the emotional aspects that accompany the use of such flexible work arrangements. Furthermore, career implications and the development of appropriate support structures for teleworkers need to be taken into account.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper lies in the comparative approach between pre‐telework expectations and post‐telework outcomes. It compares different social and occupational groups.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Book part

Takao Takahashi

Bioethics and environmental ethics have been largely separated, in principle. However, the two types of ethics do overlap when dealing with significant issues such as…

Abstract

Bioethics and environmental ethics have been largely separated, in principle. However, the two types of ethics do overlap when dealing with significant issues such as human embryos, animal experimentation, and responsibility to future generations. In this paper, the possibility of synthesizing these two ethics through the concept of care is considered. Accordingly, the range of the object of the concept of care is similarly broadened. Moreover, after considering the serious defects of care-based theory, a care-based position, which regards human rights or their substitute as a complement to care, is advanced. This position can be said to be a Japanese approach to bioethics.

Details

Taking Life and Death Seriously - Bioethics from Japan
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-206-1

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Article

Björn Frank and Takao Enkawa

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether economic growth enhances life satisfaction. It provides a conceptual solution to the heavily debated Easterlin paradox…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether economic growth enhances life satisfaction. It provides a conceptual solution to the heavily debated Easterlin paradox which states that aggregate income positively relates to life satisfaction in one‐time international comparisons but not in longitudinal analyses. First empirical results are presented for Germany.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study uses path analysis to capture not only direct but also mediated effects of economic growth on life satisfaction. Findings – The paper finds that economic growth does enhance life satisfaction over time. The effect is not direct but mediated via consumer confidence, customer satisfaction, income satisfaction, health satisfaction and job satisfaction. Modeled by consumer confidence, adaptive expectations reduce this effect but cannot entirely compensate for it, as suggested by literature. In addition to this negative compensatory effect which is mediated by customer satisfaction, consumer confidence has a positive direct influence on life satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

Since the history of aggregate customer satisfaction measurement is still young, this empirical analysis should be seen as pioneer work. Future research on the Easterlin paradox should utilize future data, model mediated relationships and time lags, and integrate customer satisfaction and consumer confidence.

Practical implications

Economic growth strategies are successful in raising life satisfaction. Governments should not only pay attention to quantitative but also to qualitative growth. Collective optimism can improve life satisfaction.

Originality/value

This study contributes to solving the Easterlin paradox. Unlike the extant literature on the Easterlin paradox, this paper integrates national customer satisfaction and consumer confidence into a sociologic model and explicitly accounts for mediated effects. National customer satisfaction is used to model qualitative aspects of economic growth.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 29 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article

Björn Frank and Takao Enkawa

Sociologists are discussing whether or not economic growth enhances subjective well‐being. To complement their research from a housing perspective, the purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Sociologists are discussing whether or not economic growth enhances subjective well‐being. To complement their research from a housing perspective, the purpose of this paper is to investigate whether aggregate income enhances dwelling satisfaction over time. While cross‐sectional studies have only examined the direct influence of income on dwelling satisfaction, this paper suggests that there are additional influences mediated by other social indicators.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on data from Germany, correlation and regression analyses examine the impacts of aggregate income and other social indicators on dwelling satisfaction. Path analysis is used to test for the existence of mediated relationships.

Findings

The paper finds that aggregate income positively influences dwelling satisfaction. Environmental satisfaction, customer satisfaction and satisfaction with family relations also positively impact dwelling satisfaction and mediate influences of aggregate income. The mediated effects are stronger than the direct effect of aggregate income on dwelling satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The longitudinal availability of aggregate customer satisfaction data is still limited. Future research on dwelling satisfaction is encouraged to account for customer satisfaction and to reexamine the analyses of this study with future data.

Practical implications

Stimulating economic growth is a good strategy to improve dwelling satisfaction. Policies improving the environment, family support and shopping opportunities are also effective.

Originality/value

This paper is original in that it examines the impacts of economic growth and customer satisfaction on dwelling satisfaction. While the extant literature has only analysed direct effects of income on dwelling satisfaction, this study also accounts for mediated effects.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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