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Costs of e‐participation: the management challenges

Costs of e‐participation: the management challenges Purpose – This paper aims to discuss the cost of e‐participation from the managerial perspective. Design/methodology/approach – The use of digital media to consult and engage citizens and companies in the decision‐making process is a way of improving the design and legitimatization of decisions, as well as potentially increasing the likelihood of successful implementation of policies. This paper discusses if the potential economic benefits from increased or qualitatively improved involvement inherently are long term and have to compete with other activities undertaken by government. Findings – There are great uncertainties regarding the magnitude of the positive effects on governance since there are not only positive, but also negative externalities of e‐participation; thus, there are major challenges in measuring and capitalizing on the e‐participation. Part of the reason for the uncertainty is the lack of explicit awareness of the choice of technology, communication style and institutional approach to implementing e‐participation. Further, there is the need to be aware of the administrative costs in transferring e‐participation practices and techniques. Originality/value – The perspective on cost of e‐participation is not well explored. The discussion raised emphasizes the urgency of the issue. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/17506160710733689
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to discuss the cost of e‐participation from the managerial perspective. Design/methodology/approach – The use of digital media to consult and engage citizens and companies in the decision‐making process is a way of improving the design and legitimatization of decisions, as well as potentially increasing the likelihood of successful implementation of policies. This paper discusses if the potential economic benefits from increased or qualitatively improved involvement inherently are long term and have to compete with other activities undertaken by government. Findings – There are great uncertainties regarding the magnitude of the positive effects on governance since there are not only positive, but also negative externalities of e‐participation; thus, there are major challenges in measuring and capitalizing on the e‐participation. Part of the reason for the uncertainty is the lack of explicit awareness of the choice of technology, communication style and institutional approach to implementing e‐participation. Further, there is the need to be aware of the administrative costs in transferring e‐participation practices and techniques. Originality/value – The perspective on cost of e‐participation is not well explored. The discussion raised emphasizes the urgency of the issue.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2007

Keywords: Communication technologies; Government; Democracy; Citizen participation

References