To cross or not to cross the boundaries? A reflection on electronic public service integration

Kuan Chiu Tseng, Lung Teng Hu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Parallel with the rapid evolution of information and communication technologies, customer service delivery is confronting a radical transformation in both the public and private sectors. One-stop service delivery with inter-organizational integration, even joined-up with government, has become an appealing vision, as well as a desideratum of future public service provision. However, while a significant body of literature on business process reengineering and inter-organizational system presents the possibility of ubiquitous public service delivery, some governmental organizations remain reluctant to adopt this model. This chapter aims to deal with the following questions. Is electronic cross-boundary service integration a desirable vision of e-governance? If so, why isn't everyone jumping on this bandwagon? What are the potential factors which the proponents of electronic cross-boundary governance should take into account which may influence departmental adoption of electronic public service integration? Is electronic cross-boundary governance a one-size-fit-all solution? This chapter seeks to answer the questions with a case study of Taipei online e-services provided by the Taipei City government. Because Taipei online e-services attempts to provide a digital platform by which citizens in Taipei City are able to complete most applications, requests, payments, even tracking requests, it is regarded as a system which threads multiple service operational procedures as well as databases across departmental boundaries. The vision raised by Taipei online e-services is very close to the promise offered by e-governance proponents. Still, certain services cannot be completed online fully. Most service deliveries which cannot be fully completed online fall into the departments which are significantly associated with the government's economic performance as well as citizens' quality of life, such as economic development, urban development, land, transportation, civil affairs, social welfare, and finance. In fact, the departments indicated above have to collaboratively interact with each other in order to provide citizen services. To explore the reasons why certain services could not be digitally integrated and fully provided online, some focus-group interviews were conducted with key officials of the municipal departments mentioned above. Governmental insiders were able to offer some compelling factors which critically influence the integration of e-services. Surprisingly, some officials raised challenges: Is it merely rhetoric or is it imperative to integrate full services across departmental boundaries under e-governance? Research results and implications for electronic cross-boundary governance will be discussed in this chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic Governance and Cross-Boundary Collaboration
Subtitle of host publicationInnovations and Advancing Tools
PublisherIGI Global
Pages1-22
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781609607531
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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