خدمات الکترونیکی عمومی برای بهره وری سازمان و منافع شهروندان - یافته های حاصل از تجزیه و تحلیل ذینفعان محور
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4646||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Government Information Quarterly, Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 10–22
The main goals of e-government are to increase agency efficiency and offer benefits to citizens. These goals have often been addressed as two interplaying outcomes of public e-service development, which are possible to achieve in parallel. This article shows that the two frequently applied stakeholders of e-government (agencies and citizens) are much too extensive and heterogeneous in order to be meaningfully addressed in public e-service conceptualization and development. We conduct a stakeholder centered analysis of a public e-service development and implementation process in order to identify stakeholder groups and discuss how they differ in their perceptions and, consequently, also in their feelings of relevance and need related to the e-service. By adopting a multi-faceted perspective on stakeholders, public e-service development can be analyzed and understood in a way that takes several stakeholder groups into account. Our study contributes with deeper insights about a situation where stakeholder salience changes over time, while some stakeholder groups have low salience during the entire process. The result of conducting a stakeholder centered analysis is that we, by visualizing the stakeholder groups' differences, are better prepared to meet and combine different needs related to a planned e-service. Thus, we argue that a stakeholder centered analysis of expectations and opinions concerning the e-service help to develop e-services possible to succeed in offering both external service and internal efficiency.
This article takes its point of departure in the view of public e-services being developed in order to increase agency efficiency and offer benefits to citizens in terms of easier access, more information or higher quality in their agency interactions. These main goals of e-government have often been addressed as two interplaying outcomes of public e-service development, which are possible to achieve in parallel. We question this view as being too simplified and to some extent naïve. Many e-government studies emphasize that the stakeholders present in e-government are defined as a government agency and a citizen interacting through, for example an internet-based public e-service (e.g., Flak et al., 2007, Grönlund and Horan, 2005 and Yildiz, 2007). These two stakeholders are often taken for granted in research and in practice; the agency offers a communication medium to citizens who act as private persons towards the agency. In this article, we conduct a stakeholder centered analysis of empirical data and findings from a qualitative case study, in order to illustrate that this one-to-one relationship between government and citizen is too simplified in order to understand public e-services. Stakeholders can have different roles and belong to stakeholder groups; a certain profession for example. We agree with scholars, such as Tranmüller and Wimmer (2000) and Flak et al. (2007), who state that e-government involves many different stakeholder groups that need to be considered when developing e-services. Janssen and Cresswell (2005), Schneider (2002) and Kamal, Weerakkody, and Irani (2011) also highlight that e-government initiatives involve many different stakeholders situated both inside and outside the organization in focus. Thus, we can distinguish between internal and external stakeholders as well as direct and indirect stakeholders (cf. also Gelders, Galetzka, Verckens, & Seydel, 2008). In the present case, further described below, we study the development of a public e-service for handling student anonymity during written exams at a Swedish university. The e-service is developed and offered by the university, which has the agency role in this case. The e-service has several distinct user groups, both internal users working at the agency (teachers, administrators, and exam supervisors) and external users acting in the role of citizens (students). This diversity in user roles implies that users of public e-services are a heterogeneous group. We therefore argue that stakeholder theory (e.g., Freeman, 1984), often used when describing and analyzing private firms, can be fruitful to use in the e-government context as well. This is supported by several scholars who have applied stakeholder theory in e-government (e.g., Carter and Bélanger, 2005, Chan et al., 2003, Flak and Nordheim, 2006, Flak and Rose, 2005, Pardo and Scholl, 2002, Sæbø et al., 2011 and Scholl, 2001). Our analysis is based on two theoretical models. We use the typology by Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (1997), introduced in the next section, which explains how stakeholders' salience depends on their differing degree of power, legitimacy and urgency. By using this typology we are able to analyze e-government stakeholders' salience with our case as a point of departure. Our second theoretical analysis model is a conceptualization of e-government entities by Sæbø et al. (2011), who further developed the entities from Flak et al. (2007). The e-government entities model, introduced in the next section, is proposed as a way to contextualize stakeholders in e-government in a more detailed way than just distinguishing between government and citizens Sæbø et al. (2011). Thus, by applying the e-government entities model we get a more fine-grained conceptualization of e-government stakeholders. Sæbø et al. (2011) have developed the entities from a national government agency perspective. In their article, Sæbø et al. (2011) unpack the concept of stakeholder salience, and we relate to this on-going discussion by elaborating on how this conceptualization informs our case when we apply the concepts on a local level of e-government. We discuss how identified stakeholders differ in opinions and expectations regarding a public e-service, as well as in what way their activities are affected by the e-service, and relate these findings to the notion of stakeholder salience. We argue that this conceptualization can be useful in the future development of more comprehensive and successful e-services. Such e-services might succeed to balance the two main e-government objectives; reaching both agency efficiency and citizen benefits. The research question we focus on in this article is what insights we can gain from identifying involved e-government stakeholders in more detail than just distinguishing between agencies and citizens. We use empirical illustrations from the studied e-service development and implementation process in order to identify stakeholder groups and to discuss how they differ in their perceptions and consequently also in their feelings of relevance and need related to the e-service. Following this line of argument, the purpose of the article is to show that the two most frequently used stakeholders of e-government (agencies and citizens) are much too extensive and heterogeneous to address, in order to reach the commonly anticipated win–win situation, with increased quality for citizens and increased efficiency for agencies. By presenting this diversity in opinions we add further understanding to the notion of e-services as being more or less beneficial for certain stakeholders. By adopting a multi-faceted perspective on stakeholders, public e-service development can be analyzed and understood in a way that takes several stakeholder groups into account. Our approach is supported by studies of Flak and Nordheim (2006) and Sæbø et al. (2011) which indicate that few e-government studies so far have explicitly addressed the stakeholder complexity and its inherent challenges. After this introduction, the article is organized in the following way: in Section 2 we discuss the theoretical concept of stakeholders in e-government. The case is described in Section 3 followed by the research design in Section 4. The empirical findings from our case study are presented in Section 5. In Section 6 the findings are analyzed and discussed. The article is concluded in Section 7, in which we also make some statements about the need for further research efforts in this area.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article's main contribution is to show that the two usually mentioned stakeholders of e-government (agencies and citizens) are too extensive and abstract to address in order to reach a situation with both increased service quality for citizens and increased efficiency for agencies. Our intention has been to illustrate what insights we can gain from identifying involved e-government stakeholders in more detail than just distinguishing between agencies and citizens. The result of conducting a stakeholder centered analysis of the development and implementation process of a public e-service is that we, by visualizing the stakeholder groups' differences (cf. Flak and Rose, 2005 and Sæbø et al., 2011), are better prepared to meet and combine different needs related to a planned e-service. Thus, we argue that a stakeholder centered analysis of expectations and opinions concerning the e-service help to develop e-services possible to succeed in offering both external service and internal efficiency. Understanding different stakeholders' expectations is also crucial in order to prepare and anchor changes in e-service development and implementation through information and training. The studied case also showed that some stakeholder groups are more affected by the e-service in their activities than others. This is important to consider when deciding how to involve different stakeholder groups, making best use of their knowledge and expertise within an efficient e-service development process. A crucial conclusion that can be drawn from this study is, thus, that an appropriate understanding of an e-service's internal and external stakeholder groups is important in order to get an adequate view of the complexity related to the use of a public e-service. This conclusion is in line with, e.g., Kamal et al.'s (2011) viewing of stakeholders both from inside (internal) and outside (external) an organization. However, the results in the present study show that the stakeholder group outside the organization – the students – are directly affected (i.e., “served”) by the e-service. There is often a stakeholder group that is supposed to be served by the e-service (cf. Goldkuhl, 2007; ISO 9004-2, 1991) – the students in our case – but this group cannot be the only one in focus. e-Services are developed to generate public value (Grimsley & Meehan, 2007) to citizens, but given that several stakeholder groups are related to an e-service, the sometimes complex relations between these groups must also be understood. Chan et al. (2003) show how some stakeholders are dependent on an e-service while other stakeholders are necessary for the e-service, which is also a situation present in the case we studied. This situation results in complicated stakeholder relations that need to be identified, understood and managed in a proper way (cf. also Sæbø et al., 2011). Stakeholders also differ in their power, legitimacy and urgency in relation to the e-service (Mitchell et al., 1997). The focus on internal stakeholders without any explicit need for the e-service (i.e., no outspoken need to be served) provided us with a more nuanced and critical understanding of the studied process. A more traditional focus on citizens (the students) and government agency (the university) would instead have indicated a more simplified win–win situation. This is an important lesson to learn in order to understand the effects of e-government implementations. Another implication found in this case is the multi-faceted view we can put on security and transparency when we highlight several stakeholders' relation to the e-service. A secure and transparent marking process was the argument driving the change process from both the students' and the university management's perspective. As stated earlier, the university management had a strong focus on external aspects during the development and implementation process. Still, the e-service made it possible to detect incorrect behavior and trace the teachers who misused the system and, thus, violated the new standardized process. This is an example of how an e-service can be used to ‘serve’ some stakeholders' interests and simultaneously restrict others', both deliberately and more unconsciously. This differentiation becomes explicit when viewing an e-service's stakeholders in an integrated way. The notion of this is important for those responsible for implementing e-services, in order to succeed in offering both external service and internal efficiency. Another important finding in this study is the illustration of the dynamic shifts of stakeholder salience across the groups during the pre-implementation and post-implementation phases, as depicted in the analysis above. The dynamics of stakeholder salience is frequently discussed (e.g., Mitchell et al., 1997; Sæbø, et al., 2011), but rarely illustrated; a few exceptions are Kamal et al. (2011) and Scholl (2004). Our study contributes with insights about a situation where stakeholder salience changes over time while some stakeholder groups have low salience during the entire process. The e-service was seen as a success without taking these stakeholder groups into consideration, which illustrates our statement that it is too naïve to view e-service development as a process mutually beneficial for two stakeholders; government and citizens. We applied the e-government entities model (Sæbø et al., 2011) to our case which resulted in suggestions of some new sub category names, compared to the original model. The case's local focus is probably a reason for these conceptual changes. We also identified that the government concept in the model involves stakeholders acting in the roles of public representatives. Similarly, we argue that the user concept in the model should not exclusively be used for “citizens”. Instead, the division between government and citizens can be distinguished as stakeholders acting as public representatives versus individuals. This somewhat different division, compared to the original model (Sæbø et al., 2011), emerged when we mapped the entire process (pre- and post-implementations) to the model. Thus, this article contributes with an application of the e-government entities model in a local e-government setting. This study provides us with some illustrations of how e-service development can create different expectations also within involved stakeholder groups. The intention has been to add further understanding to the discussion and notion of different stakeholders in e-government. Increased understanding of this complexity can help us develop public e-services that balance different stakeholder groups' needs in a successful way. Our intention has not been to give any statistically valid explanations of the studied phenomena. The characteristics we have found in this case (e.g. the notion of need for the e-service) have to be followed up and compared to other cases. Complementary studies could also focus more on external stakeholder groups (i.e., citizens). The manner in which we have conducted this study only provides us with snap-shots of the inner workings of the studied organization. Yet, these snap-shots illustrate the importance of widening our perception of who is a stakeholder and when, and to take these stakeholder views into account.