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Bilgi Ekonomisi ve Yönetimi Dergisi

Yıl 2009 , Cilt 4 , Sayı 2

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Başlık :

Overcoming cultural obstacles to e-government

Yazar kurumları :
Kocaeli Üniversitesi1
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The World-Wide Web is one of the most important technological changes since the invention of the telephone. It has changed the way that organizations and people interact, and will continue to effect government’s operations and relationships. Therefore, e-government initiatives have rapidly shown amazing potential for transforming the internal activities of all kinds of organisations and dramatically altering the relationships between organisations and those who use them. However, despite some visible benefits of e-government, different institutions and societal groups have different, often negative, cultural responses to it. This paper reviews and categorises the cultural obstacles to e-government. Mary Douglas suggests that there are four cultural 'myths' which underpin institutional or group responses to certain environments. Her categorisation of four cultural myths can be adapted to to describe different cultural attitudes to the new technological environment facilitated bye-government; namely, technology benign, technology ephemeral, technology perverse/tolerant and technology capricious attitudes; as many government organisations have developed a negative attitude to the new technologies, underpinned by the four myths named above. The paper identifies a number of oth “supply-side” and “demand-side” obstacles to the development of e-government, be it derived from organisational cultures (underpinned by 'negative myths' of technology), organisational values (which also foster distinctive approaches to technology), lack of organisational demand and channel rivalry. On the other hand, not all obstacles to the development of e-government come from within government organisations. In society at large there is inevitably a resistance to using the e-government facilities. Like organisational responses to e-government, individual and group responses to the new technological environment may be underpinned by the cultural myths defined above. The paper, therefore, also deals with cultural obstacles to citizen use of e-government. Within this framework, two more cultural obstacles derived from “demand-side”: A need to see a clear benefit from electronic service delivery and the possible transaction costs that can result from such a change. The paper ends up with some propositions developed for overcoming the identified cultural obstacles to e-government initiatives.

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