NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED570056
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 384
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3397-7555-5
Advancing Local e-Government through Town-Gown Collaboration in the Web 2.0 Environment: A Comparative Case Study of Six Small Municipalities in Pennsylvania
Levy, Anna
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Pennsylvania State University
E-government is often defined as the public organization's use of information and communication technologies for the production and delivery of information and services. Since the early 1990s, e-government initiatives have been understood as a technological innovation mechanism aimed at reaching greater levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and interoperability in the public sector. However, as e-government evolves, it becomes more capable of bringing about the benefit of e-governance to local governments, thus promoting the atmosphere of online citizen engagement and democratic e-participation. Corresponding with the "Open Government Directive" of 2009, municipal public leaders can easily use their Web portals as tools for building transparent, participatory and collaborative government. The rationale for this dissertation was to expand our current understanding of how local governments in Pennsylvania respond to the challenge of developing more transparent, participatory, and collaborative e-government sociotechnical systems (STS). Using the comparative qualitative analysis of six cases, the researcher wanted to answer an overarching research question of how and to what extent the town-gown collaboration might contribute to advancing the e-government in small municipalities (with a population of less than 50,000). To add more specificity to that research question, the author supplemented it with the following clarifying sub-questions about three sets of factors: (1) the likely influences on continuous development of local e-government, (2) factors that may affect social media integration into the official municipal websites, and (3) factors that may affect town-gown e-government partnerships. To answer the research question, the author completed a comparative case study of six small college towns in Pennsylvania (i.e., Bloomsburg, Edinboro, Kutztown, Lewisburg, Shippensburg, and State College). The data collection process included thirty-one in-depth, open-ended interviews involving thirty knowledgeable respondents from local governments, universities, and community-based organizations that contributed to advancing e-government sociotechnical systems (STS) in each of six selected municipalities. Sociotechnical theory (STT) provided sensitizing concepts (i.e., technology, organization, and society) for conducting the study and building a grounded theory within these conceptual boundaries. While the STT lens is helpful for a high-level interpretation of the e-government phenomenon, the uncertainty surrounding the town-gown collaboration in building and transforming e-government at the local level called for a grounded theory approach. The author used a combination of qualitative methods to examine six municipal e-government STS and explore the ways some Web portals with integrated social media platforms used various ICTs to foster and facilitate citizen engagement in their local communities. Finally, the researcher analyzed and described the relationships among different factors that either contributed to or inhibited local government online and off-line collaboration (e-partnering). Since the successful development of an e-government STS always occurs in an environment that is subject to societal influences and impacts, the Impact-Influence Model (Trauth, 1993) helped the author to refine the data analysis process. The major contribution of this case study is an explanatory emergent theoretical model of e-partnering between local governments, universities and community organizations. The Town-Gown e-Partnering Model (T-GePaM) explains the intricate interrelationships among the three major constructs, collaboration readiness assessment, collaboration success factors and e-partnering venues. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania