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Getting it right: the importance of targeting structural causes of failure in e-government

Masiero, Silvia (2012) Getting it right: the importance of targeting structural causes of failure in e-government. In: Hercheui, Magda David, Whitehouse, Diane, McIver, William, Jr. and Phahlamohlaka, Jackie, (eds.) Ict Critical Infrastructures and Society: 10th Ifip Tc 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers, Hcc10 2012, Ams. IFIP advances in information and communication technology (386). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, pp. 34-43. ISBN 9783642333316

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-642-33332-3_4


In this paper we look at the application of ICTs to the improvement of state-citizen relations in developing countries. Our argument is that, to maximize responsiveness of the government, ICTs need to “get it right,” by targeting exactly those problems from which unresponsiveness of the state to citizens emerges. Failure arises from the fact that ICTs, rather than being used for tar-getting issues in government responsiveness, are utilized for other purposes, primarily as a means to obtaining and preserving political support. This argument is illustrated through a case study of computerization of the ration card procedure in Kerala, southern India. Here, while the structural problems of the ration card process lie at the back-end level of application processing, the technology devised by the government addresses predominantly the front-end, politically appealing node of application performance by the citizens. This strategy does not “get it right,” as it leaves untouched the crucial reason of state unresponsiveness, and indeed, it produces long-run dissatisfaction in citizens. Implications are both theoretical, as a cause for expectation failure in IS is identified and deconstructed, and practical, as an orientation to structural problems is recommended to ICT designers and policymakers.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing
Divisions: Management
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2013 10:16
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:32

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