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Future-oriented eGovernance: The sustainability concept in eGov research, and ways forward
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6373-7793
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3713-346X
2014 (English)In: Government Information Quarterly, ISSN 0740-624X, E-ISSN 1872-9517, Vol. 31, no 1, p. 137-149Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

eGov (eGovernment/eGovernance) is a complex endeavor involving many actors, ambitions, and perspectives. The field has, in research and in practice, over the years expanded its focus from service orientation to a comprehensive perspective with the ambition to integrate all of government in coherent action. Comprehensive integration requires a future-oriented perspective so investment is made in robust and flexible solutions meeting not only today's demands but also sustainable to meet those of the future. This paper addresses the use of the sustainability concept in eGov research. We discuss definitions and elements of sustainability and conduct a structured review of eGov literature investigating how various sustainability areas (social, economic, environmental and technical) are addressed. We find 21 overall themes in 94 papers, with the highest number in the “social” category. Two cross-cutting themes to which 21 overall themes relate are also identified; Decision-making and Infrastructure. Findings show that sustainability is mainly addressed narrowly, focusing on projects rather than general issues, and shallowly with a focus on single factors rather than the complex interaction among them, and with little foundation in sustainability theory. The paper contributes with an overview of themes in previous research as well as theory-based input for future research efforts on eGov sustainability, from a dynamic and sociotechnical sustainability perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
San Diego: Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 31, no 1, p. 137-149
Keywords [en]
eGovernance, eGovernment, Sustainability, Complexity, Literature review
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Information technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-33253DOI: 10.1016/j.giq.2013.07.004ISI: 000331428500017Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84895906710OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-33253DiVA, id: diva2:690261
Available from: 2014-01-23 Created: 2014-01-23 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable eGovernance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable eGovernance
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on eGovernance – the use of ICT as a means to improve public sector practice. Previous research has shown that there is a lack of long-term discussion on the purposes and directions of eGovernance development, often outlining it as unequivocally positive, while missing to consider the complexities and conflicts involved in this process. In order to understand the complexities of eGovernance a future-oriented perspective is needed. In other words a perspective that not only focuses on using ICT to be responsive to present needs but also making it possible to discuss which goals public sector ICT initiatives should strive for and how these correspond to goals and means in the public sector as a whole. In order to do this I employ a sustainability perspective.

The aim of this thesis is to understand how eGovernance can be sustainable in such a complex organizational environment. This is approached in four papers; based on two case studies, situated in the public sector of Sweden, and a structured literature review of the use of the sustainability concept in eGovernance research.

The findings of this thesis include a framework of sustainable eGovernance, including an outline of the different dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, environmental and technical. These dimensions are seen as carriers of different values and goals which are in a process of continuous dialogue and conflict. Cutting across these four dimensions are two themes: decision making and information infrastructure, which make up the backbone of how ICT can be used in order to improve public practice. The theoretical lens of sustainability widens our understanding and helps in the questioning of motivations, directions and implications of eGovernance initiatives. This thesis thus contributes with a theoretically and empirically founded framework, which is suitable as a foundation for sustainable eGovernance development and further research into that area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. p. 130
Series
Örebro Studies in Informatics ; 7
Keywords
egovernance, public sector ict, sustainability, complexity, dialogue of values
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35174 (URN)978-91-7529-028-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-11, Hörsalen, Musikhögskolan, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-27 Created: 2014-05-27 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, HannuGrönlund, Åke

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