Belonging as a Relevant Success Factor for E-Government?

Robin Preiß*, Daniela Zetti, Christian Herzog

*Corresponding author for this work


This contribution addresses citizen’s expectations towards e-government.
Based on an interview study, we argue that meeting expectations in e-government can contribute to a sense of belonging. Repeated references to types of mutual reliability articulate this belonging. Our findings are based on guided interviews with German citizens who have experienced administrative interaction in the past 12 months. The interview data indicate that the requirements for digital and analogue administrative procedures differ. In digital spaces, the aspects of transparency, efficiency, and safety are more pronounced. In contrast, analogue administrative procedures are often characterised by the interviewees as helping with weighing decisions for individual cases and the opportunity to ask unstructured questions.
The interviews further indicate that trust, obligations, and reciprocity play decisive roles in the socio-technical negotiation processes between citizens and the administration. Citizens must communicate case-specific data correctly and completely, while authorities are obliged to handle processes properly and responsibly. This exchange gives rise to mutual dependencies, which, in turn, lead to implicit expectations of the other party. The respective counterparts should reciprocate in terms of the swiftness by which data can
be entered or processed digitally. For citizens, an accelerated way of submitting digital forms appears to imply accelerated administrative procedures. Our research suggests that, in addition to perceived added value, flexible online and offline administrative procedures and transparent processes, e.g., in terms of processes and contacts within the administration, as well as the specifics of data sharing, can be decisive success factors for e-government.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of the STS Conference Graz 2023 : Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies; 8 – 10 May 2023
EditorsGünter Getzinger, Michaela Jahrbacher, Franziska Häller
Publication date2024
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-85125-976-6
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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