Assessing Organizational E-Government Readiness of the Public Sector: A Saudi Arabian Context

Author: Ibrahim A Alghamdi

Alghamdi, Ibrahim A, 2015 Assessing Organizational E-Government Readiness of the Public Sector: A Saudi Arabian Context, Flinders University, School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics

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Abstract

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become increasingly important in the development of nations. E-Government refers to the strategic use of ICT to transform the public sector. E-Government is regarded as a driver of citizen-centric, supportive, and advanced governance involving a transformation in how government re-engineers its internal processes and interacts with its stakeholders. Yet barriers can be encountered in the transformation to e-Government services due to limited readiness of a country’s ICT infrastructure and deployment. A review of the literature showed a lack of research in developing countries such as Saudi Arabia regarding e-Government, particularly pertaining to internal organisation factors. The majority of e-Government assessment models focus on the websites that offer service to the citizens. In addition, most existing models assess OEGR on a macro level (of the whole country) without performing an in-depth assessment at the micro level of public organisations. Consequently, an effective Organisational e-Government Readiness (OEGR) assessment model is essential for advancing appropriate e-Government implementation and transformation. Given the significant investment in e-Government programmes and the need to allow such programmes to germinate, this study assessed OEGR in Saudi Arabia. Academic research on the main internal organisational factors leading to e Government readiness is still sparse. Few organisational e-Government studies incorporate pertinent value dimensions. To address this gap in the literature, an organisational e-Readiness assessment model was developed and described in detail in this study. This OEGR model can be used by a range of stakeholders including information technology managers and policy makers in improving OEGR within the public sector and thus in improving the quality of public service delivery. A model was developed comprising the effect of seven main constructs: strategy, user access, the national e-Government programme (Yesser), portal, processes, ICT infrastructure and human resources on OEGR. The model factors, relationships, and hypotheses stemmed from the literature on Information Systems (IS), Electronic Commerce (e-Commerce), Electronic Readiness (e-Readiness), and e-Government readiness. To test the model, the research focused on examining the relationships and interactions among these factors in an organisational e-Government environment using a study comprising organisations associated with the government of Saudi Arabia. A qualitative method was employed for interviewing leading e-Government officials in Saudi Arabia. Quantitative data was also collected through a questionnaire distributed to a sample of top management ICT and e Government specialists in Saudi Arabia. Data obtained from the survey was triangulated with data gathered from interviews. The qualitative findings confirmed the significance of each construct in influencing OEGR, and revealed certain issues specific for the Saudi Arabian implementation context. Quantitative findings revealed that strategy, Yesser, portal, processes, ICT infrastructure, and human resources had a positive impact on OEGR, while there was no direct link found between user access and OEGR. The model provided in this study is a systematic approach to assess the OEGR of public organisations and to guide them in self-assessments. The thesis contributes to the literature pertaining to assessments of information systems and e-Commerce in general and e-Readiness and e-Government readiness in particular. Furthermore, it offers a valuable tool to government organisations for assessing their e-Government readiness and in assessing the success of e-Government transformation efforts.

Keywords: E-Government,readiness,organisation,strategic planning,information and communication technology,public sector,Saudi Arabia
Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2015
School: School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Supervisor: Dr Robert Goodwin