Lost In Competition? The State of the Art in E-Government Research
Electronic Government (e-gov) research is mainly applied research serving a rapidly growing field of practice. Hence it is torn between academic analysis and practice demands for solutions to immediate problems. The research field has grown rapidly and now features several journals and a huge amount of conferences. Research quality is important to positively influence practice, but it takes time for a research field to settle with focus, borders, and quality standards. This paper follows up on an earlier study (Grönlund, 2004), which found quality lacking, by assessing 117 papers from two e-gov conferences, E-GOV 2005 and HICSS 2006, using rigor and relevance criteria derived from a straightforward maturity model. We find that since the last measurement, e-gov research papers on average are increasingly technically rigorous, increasingly descriptive (as opposed to analytical), increasingly product descriptions, and increasingly focus on IT rather than government, society, or individuals/citizens. Some potential explanations to the findings are discussed, and the paper concludes by discussing the issue of the nature of e-Government research – are we headed towards academic maturity or rather towards production of technical artefacts to support industry in a short-term perspective?
KeywordsDevelopment Project Information System Research Quality Theory Testing Information System Research
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