Technology symbolization: political mechanism of local e-government adoption and implementation
Haibo Tan, Xuejiao Zhao, Nan Zhang
Corresponding authors: Xuejiao Zhao, e-mail: email@example.com
International Review of Administrative Sciences, Published online
Abstract: Why did some local e-government projects start off with a bang but end with a whimper? Using the case study of an online administrative approval system in Jiangmen, China, this study explores the political mechanism behind the adoption and implementation of local e-government projects. We propose a framework for analyzing the adoption and implementation of e-government projects that encompasses three aspects: environment (political institutions); process (perceptions of information technology, power relations, and strategic interaction); and performance. The political environment shapes people’s perceptions of information technology and provides motivations and constraints for relevant stakeholders. Stakeholders choose different strategies and actions based on their positions in the power structure, which finally influences the performance of the project. In this study, due to local government leaders’ motivation to seek political achievement and subordinate agencies’ strategic responses in the Chinese political system, the online system finally turned into a symbolic tool that did very little to improve government performance.
Keywords: e-government; performance; political institutions; power relations; technology symbolization
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1177/0020852320915637