International Journal of Internet Science

A peer reviewed open access journal for empirical findings, methodology, and theory of social and behavioral science concerning the Internet and its implications for individuals, social groups, organizations, and society.

Volume 3, Issue 1 (2008)

Being an Efficient or Dialogue-Oriented Rural Municipality on the Net: Framing Civil Servants' Confidence in E-Services
Bertil Rolandsson, Ulric Björck
Department for Educational and Behavioural Sciences, University College of Borås, Sweden

Abstract: The impact of the Internet on citizens' confidence in public services has been described in general terms. The purpose of this study is to analyse how civil servants in the context of a rural municipality bestow confidence on e-services. Based on four qualitative group interviews, we analyse the interpretative frames that guide how they understand a confident use of public services on the Internet. Our results illustrate the importance of considering the organisational context when studying how civil servants frame e-government solutions. E-services were framed as a machine that creates both opportunities to rationalise a local government, and a risk that a complex technological system could restrict direct contact with citizens and destabilise their procedures of work. In addition, the civil servants never framed the Internet as a tool for democratic interaction, which is explained by the fact that they worked in a local bureaucracy where many claimed to have direct contacts with the citizens.

Keywords: E-services, confidence, machine frame, dialogue frame, civil servants

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