An empirical study of sustainable E-Government characteristics in Saudi Arabia

2018-07-12T11:09:03Z (GMT) by Sulaiman Aljarallah Russell Lock
It is clear that sustainable e-government has become an important consideration for governments, and a political buzz-phrase encompassing e-government literature and sustainability. However, existing e-government literature on sustainability is sparse. A quantitative empirical study was conducted to survey the perceptions of Saudi Arabian citizens with regard to the characteristics of sustainable e-government. Survey data gathered from 442 respondents were analysed to investigate their understanding of the importance of each of these characteristics, allowing the identification of a set of key characteristics likely to influence citizens’ utilization of sustainable e-government services. The study also investigated users’ perceptions of three key barriers to the ability of policymakers to develop and adopt sustainable e-government systems. The most significant barrier was found to be low public awareness of the benefits of sustainable e-government, followed by the inability of governments to predict the needs of future generations of citizens, and their inability to meet current users’ needs. This study also seeks to rank the characteristics of sustainable e-government according to citizens’ perceptions of their priority. The ranking of sustainable e-government characteristics provides an authoritative measurement to guide efforts to develop e-government systems by identifying key characteristics in terms of their effects on the sustainability of e-government. The results indicate that the characteristics perceived to be the most significant were usability, security, performance, transparency and flexibility, whereas respondents were relatively unconcerned with the social, environmental and economic dimensions of the impact of the software used in e-government systems. Participants were found to differ by gender in the priority they assigned to the various characteristics. For example, females considered security to be the most important of the eleven characteristics assessed, while males considered usability to be the most vital characteristic. These results can be utilised in future as part of a framework for evaluating sustainable e-government. Furthermore, the characteristics identified here can be used as a means of providing valuable feedback for the planning and implementation of future sustainable e-government initiatives.