Title

A strategic analysis of e-government development among local governments in the Perth metropolitan area : a multi-case exploratory study

Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

Abstract

E- Government is defined as the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly the Internet, to deliver government services. Potential benefits of E-Government include increased efficiency and effectiveness in government operations, empowerment of citizens and enhanced social and economic development leading to strengthened conditions for good governance. Governments worldwide have embraced E-Government and set up websites where they conduct their business online with citizens and other stakeholders. Due to the international significance of E-Government, methods and approaches for its development have therefore become an important area of research.

Studies of E-Government have typically focused on E-Government at national level and there are few studies that have investigated the issues and challenges of E-Government at local level. This is unfortunate because research suggests that most local governments are struggling to develop effective E-Government initiatives. The problem is further compounded by the fact that the research literature on E-Government does not present clear strategies for local authorities to follow since it is often contradictory and emphasises models of maturity. The purpose of this research, therefore, was to investigate and critically analyse the development of E-Government among local governments. A qualitative research methodology was used to analyse how selected councils in the Perth Metropolitan Area plan for and develop E-Government including an assessment of their operational requirements, objectives, problems and opportunities. The results of the analysis would be used to inform local governments on the design of new ICT solutions that would improve business efficiency and productivity.

The findings of this research revealed that local governments often fail to develop a strategy for the development of E-Government. Therefore, a framework for the development of EGovernment based on strategic planning is proposed. A strategic planning approach provides a framework for understanding and addressing all the complex issues in a particular organization.

The findings of this research will help to extend important scholarly literature regarding the development of E-Government among local governments. Most studies of E-Government have focused on national level and there have been calls for studies that focus on local government level. Local government is described as the level of government closest to the citizens, providing majority of services and having the greatest level of interaction (Moon, 2002). Previous studies of local E-Government maturity have also been based on theoretical models which do not necessarily represent the reality on the ground. The findings in this study are based on empirical investigation and represent what is happening in practice. The cases selected have been identified as leaders in the use of ICT among local councils in the Perth metropolitan area. Their experiences (how they plan for and develop E-Government including barriers they face and the impacts of E-Government for their communities) can be useful to other local administrators involved in planning for the development of EGovernment.

LCSH Subject Headings

Electronic government information -- Western Australia.

Internet in public administration -- Western Australia.

Local government -- Western Australia.

Access Note

Access to this thesis - the full text is restricted to current ECU staff and students by author's request. Email request to library@ecu.edu.au

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