A conceptual framework for evaluating the success of e-government from the viewpoint of citizens living with disability in Australia: An Interpretive Multiple Case Study Approach

Date

2020

Authors

Sterrenberg, Gary

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Abstract

This study highlights the significant challenges in evaluating e-government services as there is currently a lack of consensus of how success is defined and from which perspective(s) these services should be measured. Since e-government services are intended to deliver government policy objectives that create value for citizens, this study posits that e-government success should be evaluated within that context. Unfortunately, current evaluation frameworks of e-government services tend to reflect the perspectives of public organisations rather than those of the intended beneficiaries and are therefore inadequate to effectively evaluate e-government success from a citizen's perspective. Furthermore, current evaluation methods fall short by failing to recognise the context or situation within which e-government services are delivered or because the measures are too simplistic to assess the often complex social and economic objectives of government programs that support citizens living with disability. The study reveals that citizens living with disability perceive the success of e-government on the value they gain from the broader societal outcomes created by citizens using these e-government services; referred to as public value outcomes. The findings of the study indicate that citizens living with disability evaluate the success of e-government through three public value outcomes measures: (1) efficient public services, (2) effectiveness of government agencies, and (3) improvements in social outcomes. Furthermore, the study shows that through the effective use of e-government, these citizens not only create public value outcomes but are also the legitimate arbiters (in western democracies) in the judgment of the value of these outcomes. This research contributes to existing theory on e-government evaluations by delivering an evaluation framework that incorporates public value outcomes in the assessment of the success of e-government from the perspective of citizens living with disability. The study extends current approaches applied in evaluation frameworks by focusing on the outcomes created for citizens through their effective use of e-government, rather than simply focusing on the use of the technology itself. This provides a new approach in evaluating e-government success by shifting the emphasis from a general definition of use of e-government (the number of interactions) to the effective use of e-government (a standard of use required to achieve goals). Linking the effective use of e-government to the achievement of outcomes for citizens firmly establishes the perceptions of citizens as genuine indicators of value, as opposed to the traditional approach that relies on indicators of success from a government agency perspective. By applying a citizen-centric approach, this study demonstrates the methodological value of applying an interpretive qualitative multiple case study method to inquiries in information systems studies using the "lived" experiences of citizens. It also delivers a practical examination of e-government success from the perspective of Australian citizens living with disability. Further, the study highlights the central role of e-government performance evaluations in providing the Australian Government with a means to increase transparency in its service performance, gained through a clear understanding of citizen expectations. This could assist public administrators in Australia in improving the management of e-government services.

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Thesis (PhD)

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Open Access

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DOI

10.25911/Y9R8-PW54

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