An Outline for the Foundations of Digital Government Research
This chapter asks: Is Digital (or electronic) Government (DG) a legitimate new field of research? If so, what aspects of government should be studied, and why? Since DG is obviously an interdisciplinary endeavor, which disciplines can or should play a role, and why? How can they interact? Is it likely that a single integrated language, research methodology, project style, and structure of research paper will evolve, and if so, what might this hybrid look like? The chapter presents a model in which government is viewed from three perspectives. First, the technological. As a processor of information, government uses the results of ICT research and development, as performed by computer scientists and human factors specialists. This begs the question: which new technologies should be designed and built, and why? Second, therefore, the normative. The idealized (or at least improved) functioning of government, which tends to be the purview of political scientists, ethicists, and legal scholars, must furnish models toward which new ICT and its deployment can strive. In turn, this begs the question: how well does newly-enabled ICT-enriched government actually do? Third, therefore, the evaluative. This involves the challenges of studying the effects of using technology on society and government itself, enterprises that tend to be the domain of some sociologists and public administration researchers, and, within government, of organization management and information systems specialists. The chapter suggests that good research in DG, and good DG research papers, should combine these three perspectives, thereby including in each study all three aspects: technological, normative, and evaluative.
KeywordsTripartite Model Evaluative Dimension Government Partner Information Science Institute Information System Specialist
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.