Tag Archives: Web

The Users’ Perceptions of the Electronic Government’s (e-gov) Services

This is an excerpt from one of my latest conference papers entitled; “Exploring the Behavioral Intention to Use E-Government Services: Validating the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology”.

How to Cite: Camilleri, M.A. (2019). Exploring the Behavioral Intention to Use E-Government Services: Validating the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. In Kommers, P., Hui, W., Isaias, P., & Tomayess, I. (Eds) 9th International Conference on Internet Technologies & Society, Lingnan University, Hong Kong (February 2019), International Association for Development of the Information Society.


The information and communication technologies (ICTs) as well as other web-based technologies can enhance the effectiveness, economies and efficiencies of service delivery in the public sector. Therefore, many governments are increasingly using the digital and mobile media to deliver public services to online users (Zuiderwijk Janssen & Dwivedi. 2015). The electronic or mobile government services (e-gov) are facilitators and instruments that are intended to better serve all levels of the governments’ operations, including its departments, agencies and their employees as well as individual citizens, businesses and enterprises (Rana & Dwivedi, 2015). The governments may use information and communication technologies, including computers, websites and business process re-engineering (BPR) to interact with their customers (Isaías, Pífano & Miranda, 2012; Weerakkody, Janssen & Dwivedi, 2011). E-gov services involve the transformational processes within the public administration; that add value to the governments’ procedures and services through the introduction and continued appropriation of information and communication technologies, as a facilitator of these transformations. These government systems have improved over the years.  In the past, online users relied on one-way communications, including emails. Today, online users may engage in two-way communications, as they communicate and interact with the government via the Internet, through instant-messaging (IM), graphical user interfaces (GUI) or audio/video presentations.

Traditionally, the public services were centered around the operations of the governments’ departments. However, e-governance also involves a data exchange between the government and other stakeholders, including the businesses and the general public (Rana & Dwivedi, 2015). The advances in technology have led to significant improvements in the delivery of service quality to online users (Isaías et al., 2012). As e-government services become more sophisticated, the online users will be intrigued to interact with the government as e-services are usually more efficient and less costly than offline services that are delivered by civil servants. However, there may be individuals who for many reasons, may not have access to computers and the internet. Such individuals may not benefit of the governments’ services as other citizens. As a result, the digital divide among citizens can impact their socio-economic status (Ebbers, Jansen & van Deursen, 2016). Moreover, there may be individuals who may be wary of using e-government systems. They may not trust the e-gov sites with their personal information, as they may be concerned on privacy issues. Many individuals still perceive the governments’ online sites as risky and unsecure.

This contribution addresses a knowledge gap in academic literature as it examines the online users’ perceptions on e-gov systems. It relies on valid and reliable measures from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) (Zuiderwijk et al., 2015; Wang & Shih, 2009; Venkatesh, Morris, Davis & Davis, 2003;2012) to explore the respondents ’attitudes toward performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influences, facilitating conditions as well as their intentions to use the governments’ electronic services. Moreover, it also investigates how the demographic variables, including age, gender and experiences have an effect on the UTAUT constructs.. In a nutshell, this research explains the causal path that leads to the online users’ acceptance and use of e-gov.

References

Ebbers, W. E., Jansen, M. G., & van Deursen, A. J. 2016. Impact of the digital divide on e-government: Expanding from channel choice to channel usage. Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 685-692.

Isaías, P., Pífano, S., & Miranda, P. (2012). Web 2.0: Harnessing democracy’s potential. In Public Service, Governance and Web 2.0 Technologies: Future Trends in Social Media (pp. 223-236). IGI Global.

Rana, N. P., & Dwivedi, Y.K. 2015. Citizen’s adoption of an e-government system: Validating extended social cognitive theory (SCT). Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 172-181.

Venkatesh, V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B., & Davis, F. D. 2003. User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view. MIS Quarterly, pp. 425-478.

Venkatesh, V., Thong, J.Y., & Xu, X. 2012. Consumer acceptance and use of information technology: extending the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology. MIS Quarterly, pp. 157-178.

Wang, Y.S., & Shih, Y.W. (2009). Why do people use information kiosks? A validation of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 158-165.

Weerakkody, V., Janssen, M., & Dwivedi, Y. K. 2011. Transformational change and business process reengineering (BPR): Lessons from the British and Dutch public sector. Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 320-328.

Zuiderwijk, A., Janssen, M., & Dwivedi, Y.K. 2015. Acceptance and use predictors of open data technologies: Drawing upon the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology. Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 429-440.

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Filed under digital media, e government, internet technologies, internet technologies and society, online, Web

Unleashing Corporate Social Responsibility through Digital Media

csr

Companies are increasingly focusing their attention on content and inbound marketing. In a nutshell, content marketing necessitates an integrated marketing communications approach involving different media (1). Content strategists and marketers who care about their online reputation are realising that they have to continuously come up with fresh, engaging content with a growing number of quality links. They have to make sure that their websites offer great content for different search engines. Consistent high quality content ought to be meaningful and purposeful for target audiences (2).

Successful marketers are capable of enhancing customer loyalty, particularly if their businesses are delivering ongoing value propositions to promising prospects (on their website). Such businesses are continuously coming up with informative yet interesting content through digital channels, including blogs, podcasts, social media networking and e-newsletters. Online content often include refreshing information which tell stakeholders how to connect the dots. It may appear that many companies are becoming quite knowledgeable in using social media channels to protect their reputation from bad publicity or misinformation.

Several online businesses often tell insightful stories to their customers or inspire them with sustainable ideas and innovations. Corporate web sites could even contain their latest news, elements of the marketing-mix endeavours as well as digital marketing fads.
Most social media networks are effective monitoring tools as they could feature early warning signals of trending topics (3). These networks may help business communicators and marketers identify and follow the latest sustainability issues. Notwithstanding, CSR influencers are easily identified on particular subject matters or expertise. For example, businesses and customers alike have also learned how to use the hashtag (#) to enhance the visibility of their shareable content (4). Some of the most popular hashtags comprise: #CSR #StrategicCSR, #sustainability, #susty, #CSRTalk, #Davos2015, #KyotoProtocol, #SharedValue et cetera. Hashtags could possibly result in financial support to charity, philanthropic or stewardship principles. They may even help to raise awareness of the overall CSR communications. Hence, there are numerous opportunities for businesses to leverage themselves through social networks as they engage with influencers and media.

  • The ubiquity of Facebook and Google Plus over the past years has made them familiar channels for many individuals around the globe. These networks have become very popular communication outlets for brands, companies and activists alike. These social media empower their users to engage with business on a myriad of issues. They also enable individual professionals or groups to promote themselves and their CSR credentials in different markets and segments.
  • Moreover, Linkedin is yet another effective tool, particularly for personal branding. However, this social network helps users identify and engage with influencers. Companies can use this site to create or join their favourite groups on LinkedIn (e.g. GRI, FSG, Shared Value Initiative among others). They may also use this channel for CSR communication as they promote key initiatives and share sustainability ideas. Therefore, LinkedIn connects individuals and groups as they engage in conversations with both academia and CSR practitioners.
  • In addition, Pinterest and Instagram enable their users to share images, ideas with their networks. These social media could also be relevant in the context of the sustainability agenda. Businesses could illustrate their CSR communication to stakeholders through visual content. Evidently, these innovative social networks provide sharable imagery, infographics or videos to groups who may be passionate on certain issues, including CSR.
  • Moreover, digital marketers are increasingly uploading short, fun videos which often turn viral on internet (5). YoutubeVimeo and Vine seem to have positioned themselves as important social media channels for many consumers, particularly among millennials. These sites offer an excellent way to humanise or animate  SR communication through video content. These digital media also allow their users to share their video content across multiple networks. For instance, videos featuring university resources may comprise lectures, documentaries, case studies and the like.

CSR practices may provide a good opportunity for businesses to raise their profile in the communities around them.  Genuine businesses communicate their motives and rationales behind their CSR programmes. In this case, there are numerous media outlets where businesses can obtain decent coverage of their CSR initiatives, especially on the web (e.g. CSRwire and Triple Pundit among others). Although, there are instances  where consumers themselves, out of their own volition are becoming ambassadors of trustworthy businesses; at the same time certain stakeholders are becoming increasingly acquainted and skeptical on certain posturing behaviours and greenwashing (6).

Generally, digital communications will help to improve the corporate image of firms. Positive publicity can lead to reputational benefits and long lasting relationships with stakeholders (7). Online content and inbound marketing can be successfully employed for CSR communication1. Corporate sites should be as easy as possible, with user-centred design that enables interactive information sharing on CSR activities. Inter-operability and collaboration across different social media can help businesses to connect with stakeholders (1). 

Marketers can create a forum where prospects or web visitors can engage with the business in real time. These days, marketing is all about keeping and maintaining a two-way relationship with consumers. Digital marketing is an effective tool for consumer engagement.

A growing number of businesses are learning how to collaborate with consumers about product development, service enhancement and promotion. These companies are increasingly involving customers in all aspects of marketing. They listen to and join online conversations as they value their stakeholders’ opinions and perceptions.

Today, pervasive social media networks are being used by millions of customers every day. In a sense, it may appear that digital marketing tools have reinforced the role of public relations. These promotional strategies complement well with CSR communication and sustainability reporting.

This contribution encourages businesses to use digital media to raise awareness of their societal engagement and environmentally sustainable practices. Further research may possibly identify how successful businesses are using digital channels to forge genuine relationships with their stakeholders.

References

  1. Camilleri, M.A. “Unleashing Shared Value Through Content Marketing.” Triple Pundit, 10th February 2014. http://www.triplepundit.com/2014/02/unleashing-shared-value-content-marketing/
  2. Camilleri, M.A. “A Search Engine Optimization Strategy for Content Marketing Success.” Social Media Today 28th May, 2014. http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/search-engine-optimization-strategy-content-marketing-success
  3. Kietzmann, Jan H., Kristopher Hermkens, Ian P. McCarthy, and Bruno S. Silvestre. “Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media.” Business horizons 54, no. 3 (2011): 241-251.
  4. Small, Tamara A. “What the hashtag? A content analysis of Canadian politics on Twitter.” Information, Communication & Society 14, no. 6 (2011): 872-895.
  5. Guadagno, Rosanna E., Daniel M. Rempala, Shannon Murphy, and Bradley M. Okdie. “What makes a video go viral? An analysis of emotional contagion and Internet memes.” Computers in Human Behavior 29, no. 6 (2013): 2312-2319.
  6. Laufer, William S. “Social accountability and corporate greenwashing.” Journal of Business Ethics 43, no. 3 (2003): 253-261.
  7. Camilleri, M.A. “The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility” (paper presented at the American Marketing Association in collaboration with the University of Wyoming, Oklahoma State University and Villanova University: Marketing & Public Policy as a Force for Social Change Conference. Washington D.C., 5th June 2014): 8-14, Accessed June 26, 2015. https://www.ama.org/events-training/Conferences/Documents/2015-AMA-Marketing-Public-Policy-Proceedings.pdf

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Filed under Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, CSR, Marketing