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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Government Information Quarterly, Volume 25, Issue 2, April 2008, Pages 202–220
Governments worldwide are increasingly using Web-based business models to enhance their service delivery. Yet the concept of the business model is unexplored within the context of e-government. Drawing upon the literature on e-commerce, we develop a taxonomy for analyzing Web-based business models for e-government. Based on a systematic survey of 59 e-government Web sites in the Netherlands, our findings indicate that most of the Web sites use the content provider or direct-to-customer business models, while only a few are using novel business models. Overall, the concept of business model is appealing and useful in the public sector. Specifically it compliments research on Web site quality by analyzing and describing Web sites using atomic e-government business models and suggesting improvements by using combinations of business models.
Governments worldwide are increasingly using the Internet to provide public services to their constituents (Layne & Lee, 2001). Much of the research has focused on practical and technical dimensions while research on how to improve e-government for users remains scarce (Bertot & Jaeger, 2006). Web-based technologies offer governments more efficient and effective means than traditional physical channels to better serve their citizens (Evans & Yen, 2006). The nonhierarchical nature of the Internet, and its ability to speed communication with 24-hr, 7-days-a-week access offers real potential to improve interaction. Yet the transition from using the Internet as a communication to an interaction channel is not only resource intensive, but requires changes in organizational practices, key value chain activities, and strategic partnerships (West, 2004). Government organizations are challenged to provide more customer-oriented products and services, and to approach customers proactively. For this purpose, governments are increasingly exploring different types of Web-based business models to serve customers through multiple channels such as Web-based services, call centers, and physical offices. In the Netherlands, some forms of e-government have been in existence for over 20 years (e.g., remote retrieval of citizens' information). Yet the forms of e-government in the Netherlands have been limited in their diffusion and adoption, and only recently do we witness an extensive outgrowth of public Web sites with designs based on some type of e-commerce Web-based business models (Winkel, 2005). As it stands, there are more than 1800 public organizations and 500 private organizations offering one or more Web sites related to governments, policy-making, and public services. The term business model is a recent addition to the literature of management and largely a product of the dotcom era (Keen & Qureshi, 2006). The business model concept is about shaping the relation between an organizational strategy and Web-based systems (Hedman & Kalling, 2003). In e-business and e-commerce, a Web-based business model is the method of doing business online by which a company generates revenue (Rappa, 2002). Analogous to business models in the private sector, we introduce e-government business models. In the public sector, instead of generating revenue, e-government business models aim at using the Internet to add value to the constituents in areas ranging from service delivery to political involvement (Janssen, Kuk, & Wagenaar, 2005). e-Government business models are similar to e-commerce and e-business in their stages of development. The similarities include the establishment of an Internet presence and the application of various types of business models aimed at creating customer value (Layne & Lee, 2001). Since 1995, the Dutch Government has been advocating the adoption of customer-oriented business models in various e-government programs and projects. It has actively promoted policy initiatives encouraging governmental organizations to make their public services available online and to provide information, communication, and transaction services (MinBZK, 1995, MinBZK, 1998, MinBZK, 2000 and MinBZK, 2004). While there exist opportunities for governmental organizations to transform their current practices and provide new products and services, many initiatives remain at the Internet presence stage, and the types of transactional services available remain restricted to traditional products (Winkel, 2005). The present guidelines are inadequate for governmental organizations to translate the current efforts and views into actions, and the ideas developed to this point remain abstract (MinBZK, 2004). Also, Dutch e-government initiatives are fragmented through geographically dispersed agencies and many initiatives do not learn from the experiences gained in other projects (MinBZK, 2004). Thus far the quest toward new government business models for the Dutch government remains problematic. There is a need to develop and apply e-government business models to continue e-government progress and accomplish customer-orientation. Yet the exact link between Web-based business models and e-government initiatives is unexplored. The goal of this research is to evaluate e-government Web sites based on Web-based business models. Rather than evaluate against any performance measures, the aim of the present study is to understand the types of business models utilized by governmental agencies. These e-government Web sites were evaluated by identifying the types of business models that are supported by each single Web site. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. First, we review the business model concept and various business model taxonomies. Next, we present our research approach which combined a deductive and an inductive approach to develop our e-government business models taxonomy by first deriving the basic components of a Web-based business model based on the e-commerce literature and then further refining them by cross-referencing to a sample of e-government Web sites. The taxonomy is then used to survey and analyze e-government Web sites in the region of Rotterdam. Next, we discuss the findings, and in the last section we draw conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, we evaluated e-government Web sites using the business models concept and presented a survey of e-government business models drawn from existing governmental Web sites in the Netherlands. Based on a deductive-inductive approach, we derived eight atomic e-government business models to analyze 59 public sector Web sites. We found that in the region of Rotterdam most of the public Web sites could be described by using a limited number of atomic business models. Specifically, most Web sites could be described using the content-provider and direct-to-customer models. Furthermore, the types of business models used by these Web sites were predominantly noninteractive and nondeliberative. The full-service provider, value-net-integrator, infrastructure provider, market, collaboration, and community business models were rarely found. This underlies the need to investigate whether the missing kinds of business models can be used to enhance customer-orientation. So far, the business model concept has not been applied to examine public sector Web sites. Current efforts in the Netherlands have focused on comparing the quality of Web sites and Web site functionality, which is useful for the creation of a Web presence by public agencies. Our research shows that the concept of e-government business models provides a complementary view to research Web site quality. The e-government business models surveyed primarily focused on creating an Internet presence and digitalizing existing content and services, whereas overall e-government business models draw the attention to the creation of constituents-value by understanding the logic for specifying the creation of customer orientation. The business-model concept draws attention to potential new types of Web-based business models which better match citizens' expectations. The business-model concept demonstrates that the adoption of multiple business models, possibly in cooperation with other organizations, can contribute to an improved customer focus, although the costs of operating multiple business models may be out of reach. Whether the eight Web-based business models are the best for e-government research remains debatable, however, we found the atomic models useful for classifying the Web sites and did not spot any Web sites that could not be classified using the updated atomic business models. A limitation for generalization is the geographical scope and the number of Web sites surveyed. As political climate and structure of e-government can account for different business models, it is likely that other business models can be found in other countries. Research on examining cross-national types of e-government business models seems to be a viable direction for further research. In this paper, we proposed a list of elements that make up e-government business models. More research in this area is needed to further refine the business-model elements. We especially recommend conducting further in-depth case studies to capture a variety of models so as to better understand the elements that make up a business model and the contribution of these elements to the success or failure of a business model. At a later stage, quantitative research can be conducted to link the contribution of each element to performance measures including service quality and usage.