Who Are the Users of Digital Public Services? A Critical reflection on Differences in the Treatment of Citizens as 'Users' in e-government Research

Distel B, Lindgren I


Abstract
Despite the importance of citizens as users of digital public services,e-government research has not explicitly considered different perspectives oncitizens as users of said services. This paper sets out to explore the possiblevariations in which the citizen as a user of digital public services is conceptualizedwithin the e-government literature. Through a qualitative and interpretiveapproach, we have analysed literature from different fields of e-governmentresearch to create an overview of how citizens as users of digital public servicesare conceptualized in e-government research. The structure of the review departsfrom, and is framed by, four established value paradigms for e-governmentmanagement. Our approach reveals that - depending on the perspective taken -the conceptualization of the citizen varies considerably and, as a consequence,may impact the results and contributions of each research perspective. Theconception of the citizen as a user of digital public services varies from being apassive recipient of government services, to being an active co-producer ofservices. This article contributes to e-government theory by unboxing the conceptionsof citizens as users of digital public services that are existent in currentresearch on digital public services. In providing a framework that relates theseconceptions to previously known value paradigms, the article offers a startingpoint for taking a multidimensional perspective in e-government research thatconsiders the citizen as a multifaceted and heterogeneous entity.

Keywords
e-government; citizen; user



Publication type
Conference Paper

Peer reviewed
Yes

Publication status
Published

Year
2019

Conference
11th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference, ePart 2019

Venue
San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy

Book title
Electronic Participation

Editor
Panagiotopoulos P, Edelmann N, Glassey O, Misuraca G, Parycek P, Lampoltshammer T, Re B

Start page
117

End page
129

Pages range
117-129

Volume
11686

Title of series
LNCS

Publisher
Springer

Place
Cham

ISBN
978-3-030-27396-5

DOI