Should E-government Be Transformational and Participatory? An Essay on E-government in the Utilitarian Mode of Information Technology Use
Hun Myoung Park
This paper asserts that e-government works, in principle, in the utilitarian mode of information technology use rather than solidary and participatory modes. E-government stakeholders visit government Web sites to pursue material incentives and rarely expect interactions and edemocracy there although senior/executive managers tout transformational and participatory egovernment symbolically and/or ostensibly for their political gain. The notion of transformational e-government is almost rhetoric and has a reversed causal relationship that egovernment reforms government. Government reflects or shapes e-government. Due to the administrative neutrality, e-democracy is not likely or its effect will not be significant. Participation in the policy processes will be plausible when motivated and qualified users and civil servants/managers are available. In general, e-government itself is not transformational and participatory, but rather instrumental to get utilitarian incentives.