Towards a cumulative tradition in e-Government Research: Going beyond the Gs and Cs
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Original versionFlak, L. S., Sein, M. K., & Sæbø, Ø. (2007). Towards a cumulative tradition in e-Government Research: Going beyond the Gs and Cs Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4656, 13-22.
The emerging research area of e-Government is gradually moving towards a level of maturity on the back of increasingly rigorous empirical research. Yet, there has been little theoretical progress and a cumulative tradition is not emerging. We argue that a principle reason for this is a lack of shared understanding about basic concepts and entities amongst scholars in the field. Specifically, the entities that form the bedrock of e-Government research, such as “Government” and “Citizen” are conceptualized at a very general level of abstractions and treated as homogenous groups. We argue that existing models and frameworks fail to see the vast differences that exist between categories of these entities. Without a finer grained conceptualization, comparison of findings across different research studies is not possible and thus transfer of knowledge between different projects is difficult. This is a fundamental obstacle in developing a cumulative tradition. Based on an examination of the literature, we propose categories of “Government” and “Citizen” at a finer grain and discuss implications for both practice and research that stems from our conceptualization.
Published version of a chapter published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4656, 13-22. Also available from the publisher at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-74444-3_2