Student Publications

Author: VERNOUS Guyverson
The Impacts of Information Technology (IT) on Public Administration
Science and Engineering
Country :
Program: PhD in Information Systems

Available for Download: Yes

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  Study of Information Technology (IT) impacts on Public
Administration Performance: Survey of Haitian Information
Systems, case of a developing country.

A Doctoral Thesis Presented to
The School of Science and Engineering
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
For the Degree of PhD in Information Systems

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1. Introduction
1.1 Background of the research
In the last decade, much research in information systems (Llopis, 2000) has
presented information technology as the fastest and most efficient way for an
organization to go towards performance and efficiency. The 21st century was
claimed as the digital revolution era. At the opening session of the first World
Summit of Information Society (WSIS 2003), the Secretary-General of the United
Nations, Kofi Annan, stated (UN-ICT-TF, 2005) We are going through a historic
transformation in the way we live, learn, work, communicate and do business (...)
Technology has produced the information age. Such terms like information age,
information society and knowledge society1 are often used to describe the deep-
seated impact of the ICT on our lives. Experts argue today that we are living a
new industrial revolution more fundamental than the former. Tapscott and Caston
(1994:395) point out The companies which will not be aware of this new era and
will not know how to clear themselves a road during the period of transition will
be vulnerable and quickly old-fashioned.

In the mid 1980`s, technology has played a major role in the development of
business in the world. Almost all business sectors have leaned on technology to
get into the competition in order to survive. Information systems have been the
key step towards efficiency when automating different tasks in the companies,
presumably to help reduce margin error and realize larger savings. In the mid
1990`s, the Internet brought a new breath in the market when extending the
frontiers of the globalization, challenging time and space; therefore, having a
profound impact on the way the world conducts economic and business practices.

1 Information age, information society, knowledge society are frequently used interchangeably
referring to a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, and manipulation of
information is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity.
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The electronic commerce2 explosion stemmed from the new mindset laid by the
Internet that is the customer-oriented business. The transformation that occurred
in the last twenty years in the private sector has automatically and profoundly
influenced the public administration with regard to customer service and
information technology in business management. Consequently, many reforms
undertaken by governments in the world imply somehow technology ­
organizational or sophisticated, if it is not technology-centered. While some
countries like United Kingdom and United states have been leading ideological
reform 3 , other countries like New Zealand, Netherlands and Sweden have
followed a practical path when engaging the same reform; adversely affecting
developing nations that have pursued this trend mainly because of severe
economic crisis or simply for the requirements of international lending
organizations 4 (Kamarck, 2003) took the stampede lately and hardly.
Nonetheless the pressure of the post-modern society characterized by a global
economy mainly dominated by technology ignores which nation is rich or poor;
therefore, each government has to do its` part to satisfy their citizens, despite
limited resources, and at the same time integrate this global economy at the
dawn of the 1990s.

As the post-modern public sector reform was offered up only on it`s bright side, if
not imposed by lending organizations in the case of developing nations, the
public sector reform preachers - lending organizations5, were in many cases,

2 Le commerce électronique ou e-commerce désigne l'échange de biens et de services entre
deux entités sur les réseaux informatiques, notamment Internet. Il représente un marché de 10
mil iards d`euros de Chiffre d'Affaire.
3 With Margaret Thatcher who came to office in Great Britain in 1979 and Ronald Reagan in 1980
in United States both running their campaign against the old bureaucracy in place.
4 The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank
(IADB) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
for Economic Cooperation and Development
5 World Bank and International Monetary Fund
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impelling to enforce the reforms undertaken by rich nations upon developing
countries without focusing on the social, cultural environment and the resources
(human and capital resources) in place to successfully pilot the reforms. As a
result the acceptation of the term performance is most likely a political
construct having a different definition for the leaders of those nations. On the
other hand the social impact and eventual dysfunctions was neglected when
considering information technology as a technical solution while the acquisition of
such technologies are exceptionally pricey. As well, the virtual environment set
by the use of technology was not controlled. However years of implementation of
information systems in a "lack of theoretical framework" environment has set
grounds for uncertainties and doubts relating to the impact of technology on
public management performance, especially in developing countries.
1.2 Problem's definition
The factor to consider technology: Mainly information and communication
technology in public management as a means toward performance. This raises
many questions when considering closely the virtual environment created by
information technology, which is very complex due to the human-factor concept
and the polysemic character of information that is the core of any information
systems. Also if we consider each country with its own socio-cultural reality
and the root causes of the reforms undertaken, the performance concept
as well as the technology, which is viewed differently. How do developing
nations see performance relating to technology? Can public sector of developing
nations reach performance by the use of information technology? In fact, is it
rational to correlate performance to information technology? In what level can we
really measure the performance achieved by an organization? What sorts of
impacts are truly driven by the use of technology in public administration? How to
improve the positive impacts such as performance and efficiency in public
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1.3 Scope of the research
Our research seeks to answer the above questions by analyzing the different
scholarships and literature (see literature review) over performance concepts and
information systems with regard to public administration. Two key concepts must
be considered in order to prop up this research:

1. The concept of performance will be approached on two sides. The
performance of the technology used and the performance of the public
organizations (administration) using the technology, but first a basic
knowledge on public management reform is vital.

2. The information technology concept, which has not a well-defined theory.
This concept will automatically drive to study the virtual organization
concept and certainly the information systems theory.

To outline the impact caused by the use of technology in public administration,
we will consider two schools of thought: These are the positive impact and
negative impact proponents. Thereby, the entire above-questions in the definition
problem section should lead to the answer of the following questions which both
constitute the main posit of the research: What are the economic and social
impacts of the information technologies on public administration
performance in developing countries? How to evaluate performance in the
context of public organization using information technology and how to
improve the performance of the public managers using the information
technology to perform administration tasks?

However the main hypothesis which leads our research is as follows: The
utilization of information technology in public administration has positive
as well negative impacts on public sector performance, but those impacts
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must not be viewed as a pure result of information technology when
considering the complex "techno-politico-social environment" in which
evolve both public managers and the technology.
1.4 Chapter summary
In addition to the introduction and the conclusion, the research is divided in two
major parts the theoretical analysis component and the empirical analysis both
allotted in 6 chapters:
-) Synthesize the chapters here
1. Theoretical body:
1. The public management in the context of the IT era
2. Information technology
a. Information
b. Virtual environment
c. Information systems and e-government systems
d. The challenges of IS in public management
3. The performance concept
4. Impacts of the ICT on performance and evaluation of impacts
5. How to improve the impacts
6. Empirical body:
a. The case of Haitian public management
1.5 Literature review
-) Redo this figure adding Woodrow Wilson and order dates
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Figure 0.1 Literature review

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Chapter 1: The public administration from 20th to 21st century

Many acute observers argue that ascendancy of one trend over another owes
more to rhetorical devices and selective emphasis from this corpus of conflicting
ideas, together with an inherent cyclical dynamic in professional fields argues
Hood (1994). This observation may explain why each new movement fails
practitioners of every field in ___ succeeding deterministic thought, which always
leads to a distorted view of a phenomenon (Not sure if this is the thought you
want). Due to concerns like corruption, waste and incompetence, there have
arisen several movements in public management fields in order to solve
radically these deficiencies. We may identify principally two successive major
trends: Bureaucracy and the Post-Bureaucracy which includes: Progressive
public administration, new public administration and today networked
administration or e-government. Then what is public administration? What do we
learn from those successive movements? What is the impact of technology on
each of these public sector movements? May we consider e-government as the
completed form of the old thought in a new technological environment?
1.1. The public administration
The Public Administration is a field of social science and a discipline, which is
generally described as the marriage of public policy and public good. This term is
often referred to government and bureaucracy. Yet the cross-disciplinary and
intertwined character of the public administration makes it useless to be summed
up to one definition (Stillman and Stillman, 20006). Accordingly, Mosher (1956)7
posits, It is best that it (Public Administration) not be defined. It is more an area
of interest than a discipline, more a focus than a separate science ... It is
necessarily cross-disciplinary. The overlapping and vague boundaries should be

6 Richard J. Stil man, Richard Joseph Stillman, Public Administration: Concepts and Cases, 2000.
7 Frederick C. Mosher, Research in Public Administration. (Public Administration Review, 16
summer 1956) p. 177
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viewed as a resource, even though they are irritating to some with orderly minds".
Parker, the most skeptical scholar regarding Public Administration, asserts
"There is really no such subject as Public Administration`, no science or art can
be identified by this title, least of all any single skill or coherent intellectual
discipline. The term has no relation to the world of systematic thought... It does
not, in itself, offer any promising opportunity to widen or make more precise any
single aspect of scientific knowledge 8 ". Dwight Waldo, more considerate,
mentioned the identity crisis of the public administration field. Nonetheless the
public administration is traditionally defined as the power of law (Rosembloom,
1998), which refers to regulations for administrative processes, and constitutional
law for civil rights matters. Over the year law and regulations themselves do not
suffice to maintain satisfactory condition for quality public sector performance.
True they furnish grounds for healthy organization and constructive outcomes,
but do not account for its effectiveness and efficiency (Vigoda, 20029). Let us
review basic scholar definition over the past decade in order to comprehend the
contour of the Public Administration.

Public Administration is the production of goods and services designed to serve
the needs of citizen-consumers. Dimock and Fox (1983)10.

We suggest a new conceptual framework that emphasizes the perception of
public administration as design, with attendant emphasis on participative
decision-making and learning, purpose and action, innovation, imagination and
creativity, and social interaction and "co production". Jong S. Jun11

8 Robert S. Parker, The end of PA. Public Administration, 34 (June 1965), p. 99
9 Eran Vigoda-Gadot, Eran Vigoda, Public Administration: An Interdisciplinary Critical Analysis
10 Marshal Dimock, Gladys Dimock and Douglas Fox, Public Administration 5th edition, 1983
11 Jong S. Jun, Public Administration, 1986
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In ordinary usage, PA is a generic expression for the entire bundle of activities
that are involved in the establishment and implementation of public policies. Cole
Blease Graham, Jr, and Steven W. Hays12

Public Administration is a cooperative group effort in a public setting; it covers all
three branches (executive, legislative, and judicial) and their interrelationships.
Public Administration has an important role in the formulation of public policy,
and is thus part of political process. It is different in significant ways from private
administration. Public Administration is closely associated with numerous private
groups and individuals in providing services to the community. Felix A. Nigro and
Lloyd G. Nigro13.

Public Administration is centrally concerned with the organization of government
policies and programs as well as the behavior of officials (usually non-elected)
formally responsible for their conduct. Charles H. Levine, B. Guy Peters, and
Frank J. Thompson14.

The practice of Public Administration involves the dynamic reconciliation of
various in government's efforts to manage public policies and programs. Melvin J.
Dubnick and Barbara S. Romzek15.

Public Administration may be defined as all processes, organizations, and
individuals (the latter acting in official positions and roles) associated with
carrying out laws and other rules adopted or issued by legislatures, executives,
and courts. George J. Gordon and Michael E. Milakovich16.

12 Managing the Public Organization, 1986
13 Modern PA seventh Edition, 1989
14 Public Administration: Challenges, Choices, Consequences, 1990
15 American Public Administration: Politics and the management of expectations, 1991
16 Public Administration in America, 1995
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Public administration is the use of managerial, political, and legal theories and
processes to fulfill legislative, executive, and judicial governmental mandates for
the provision of regulatory and service functions for the society as a whole or for
some segment of it. David H. Rosembloom and Deborah D. Goldman17

Traditionally, public administration is thought of as the accomplishing side of
government. It is supposed to comprise all those activities involved in carrying
out the policies of elected officials and some activities associated with the
development of those policies. Public Administration is ... all that comes after last
campaign promise and election-night cheer. Grover Startling18.

Without ignoring the definitions above, the expression "public administration" in
this research will refer to administrative system which is aimed to implement
public policy and to manage (in broader sense) public good in a cooperative
(Simon, Thompson and Smithburg, 199119) environment. Those administrative
tasks make information and communication a real concern for government, for
the function of Public Administration is eminently related to information and
communication. Belamy and Taylor (1998) talk about information polity`, other

17 Public Administration: Understanding Management, Politics and Law in the Public Sector fourth
edition 1997
18 Managing the public sector fifth edition, 1997
19 Simon, Thompson and Smithburg define Administration as cooperative group behavior. Used
in narrower sense to refer to those patterns of behavior that are common to many kinds of
cooperating groups and that do not depend upon either the specific goals toward which they are
cooperation or the specific technological methods used to reach these goals. The most important
is not the methods chosen to undertaken a cooperative task but how the method was chosen (law
and procedures). They argue that the activity undertaken calls for a type of organization which is
a formal one - a planned system of cooperative effort in which each participant has a recognized
role to play and duties or tasks to perform. Public Administration By Herbert Alexander Simon,
Victor Alexander Thompson, Donald W. Smithburg 1991.

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authors refer to government as information broker (Add foot note)`. Snellen
(1998) stated Public Administration is the pre-eminent test-bed of efficacy of the
digital age` for it manages information in the narrower largely internal sense, as
well as managing information within the broader demands of the polity. Its
tentacular handling information and communications issues, across the spread of
its domain`, is central or its raison d`être. This section of the research will
particularly focus on the informational and communicational aspect of the public
sector20, as well on the behavioral facets in order to pinpoint later the complex
social environment in which public administrators performing public services and
how information technology may be used in an effort to reach performance.
1.2.1. The different trends in Public Management

The Anglo-Saxon`s management scholarships carved out two main movements:
bureaucratic management and post bureaucratic management. The latter
encompasses the progressive public administration, the new public management
and the collaborative networked-government or today electronic government.
These trends have arisen to meet specific politico-social concerns, and they build
themselves upon each other and always keep an initial thought. Let us examine
the trends identified above and how technology was employed in public

20 Though we wil avoid the one-sided-approach to resume the Public Administration as public
information and communication administrative system
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1.2.2. Bureaucracy Management

According to Max Weber21, bureaucracy refers to a strategy for administrative
modernization, a method to ensure the efficiency and rationality of administrative
action in western society during the second half of the nineteenth century. This
new type of organization promotes a leadership and authority originated with a
rational framework dominated by rules, laws and regulations but not with
traditional or charismatic powers. Weber alleged that bureaucracy was guided by
the objectives of efficiency, calculability and predictability. Consequently the
main evaluative goal of bureaucracy should be maximizing efficiency
according to him.

But he recognized the tendency of bureaucracy to impose excessive controls on
employees and warned that it could turn into an end to itself when becoming
more powerful than society. In fact today, the word bureaucracy has a negative
sense given that the burdensome rules and the excessive State domination and
control. Has the Weberian modernization failed or is ___ its application that has
failed? Was it designed to meet specific needs of the heyday bureaucratic? A
large number of studies accuse bureaucracy of corruption, misuse of power,
concentration of power, political interference, low creativity and managerial
frustrations (page 3 of Using the lens of Max Weber`s theory of bureaucracy
paper). But let`s consider the following important criticisms of bureaucracy in
order to grasp the potential flaws of the Weberian bureaucracy:

Ludwig (1944) states, "This word is always applied with an opprobrious
connotation. They always imply a disparaging criticism of persons, institutions, or

21 Max Weber was a German political economist and sociologist who is considered as one of the
founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. Max Weber has probably
been one of the most influential users of the word in its social science sense, though this word
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procedures. Nobody doubts that bureaucracy is thoroughly bad and that it should
not exist in a perfect world".

Goulner (1954) discovered that the "govern by rules" Weberian culture
encourages members of bureaucratic organizations to follow the minimum
possible rules in order to get along with the structure.

Merton (1957) pointed out the same critic did by Weber concerning an excess
adherence to rules and regulations which could prevent the organization from
achieving her goals. Let alone the application of particular rules in unsuitable
situations could result dysfunctional endings. Merton called this imperfection the
"goal displacement tendency".

Burns and Stalker (1961) found that highly bureaucratic structures were
indisposed to change. The rigid atmosphere of control, efficiency and
predictability conditions the organizational members and stops them from
embracing new ideas and as a result not being able to innovate.

Kilcullen (1996) proposed that bureaucratic management means management
under the realm of the law and the budget. "This management type is bound to
comply with detailed rules and regulations fixed by the authority of a superior
body. The task of the bureaucrat is to perform what these rules and regulations
order him to do. His discretion to act according to his own best conviction is
seriously restricted by them."

Recent theorists (Add foot note) warned that former Weberian tenants misread
and altered the Weber view that has asserted that a formal rationality is not
necessarily optimal for efficiency. But the basic problems engendered by the

was an English word before his works. He is well-known for his study of bureaucratization of
society, thus many aspects of modern public administration go to his credit.
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Second World War and the recession period created a solid ground for success
to bureaucratic systems; thus it should provide security for unemployment and
retirement, stability after the recession and basic sense of fairness and equity
(Osborne & Gaebler, 1992). But this slower-pace, hand labor workforce and
mass-market society model will be demised to a rapid changing global world. The
need for new footings was foreseen.

If the public management has been searching for (words deleted do you mean
that you have deleted some words or some words are missing) other trends as
indicated below, it is worth noting that the negative connotation acquired by the
bureaucracy stems from formal organizations, which have departed from the
Weberian thought, though some inherent imperfections are being addressed by
others following public management movements. Nevertheless efficiency will
remain a principal goal of any forthcoming tendencies. The bureaucracy
was actually designed to meet basic needs of its heyday but the
progressive changes of the society will require progressive thoughts. The technology factor in the bureaucracy's era

One of the main hurdles that confronted the public administration is the
undercapitalization; thereby the scarce capital available is often used to meet
constant priorities such as national security (Radin, Hildreth and Miller, 1998).
Due to expensiveness, technological factors were always demised by the human
capital factor in order to meet ends of performance. According to Hoover (1992)
Using existing staff to fill internal consulting position has been quite successful
when those staffs are properly prepared for the task. Existing employees bring
their experience and knowledge of the organizations and the operating
procedures. They may be known by others within this organization and
particularly by those with whom they will have to work to perform successfully
their assigned tasks. They will not be seen as outsiders by existing managers
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and employees. Therefore non-sophisticated technologies like trucks,
telephones and other materials and equipments were used to improve
organization (Radin, Hildreth and Miller, 1998). At this time cost-effective and
efficiency, i.e. performance, was not contingent to technology but to human labor
and workforce. Three reasons for that: lacks of diffusion of the technology, public
administrators were not technology-educated and third the low paced-society
was not requiring the technological factors as a key tool for performance and
effectiveness. Nonetheless we must note that bureaucracy was considered by
Weber as a technology which should help to modernize public organization.
The ideal society of the 20th century would be an organization society according
to him.

1.2.3 The post bureaucratic

Barzelay and Armajani in their book Breaking Through Bureaucracy (1992)
enlightens a bureaucratic reform vision as observed in the US in the 90s. They
argue that this bureaucratic paradigm though triggers important improvement
over waste, disorder and patronage, has become obsolete and inefficient. The
authors contend that this new paradigm foresees the emergence of the post-
bureaucratic period. This new conception stresses the delivery of value to
customers, as opposed to the control of costs and the struggle for efficiency, the
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diminished of economies of scale and the increasing relevance of flexibility and
value delivery. This conceptual framework proposed by Barzelay and Armajani is
in clashes to other theoretic propositions of other theorists noted Dubnik (1994)
regarding post-bureaucratic tenets. Hence he classifies the post-bureaucratic
theories in three categories: minimal state, deregulating government, and
reinventing government. In this research we resume the elements of this
classification in the New Public Management movement following an intensive
use of sophisticated technology in the post-modern period. Progressive public administration (PPA)

In 1980`s came the progressive public administration, the predecessor of new
public management move. The progressive public administration fosters
democratic accountability in order to limit corruption; waste and incompetence
(Karl, 1963) resulted by the bureaucracy management. The PPA is based on two
thoughts: firstly, keep the public sector sharply distinct from the private sector in
terms of continuity, ethos, and methods of doing business, organizational design,
people, rewards and career structure. Secondly, maintain buffers against political
and managerial discretion by means of an elaborate structure of procedural rules
designed to prevent favoritism and corruption (Hood, 1995).

The credits of the progressive movement go to Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow
Wilson and Louis Brandeis at the end of 1800s and debut of 1900s who have
tried to transform the public management in America (Osborne & Gaebler, 1993).
As a result we had:

The formation of civil service systems with written exams, lockstep pay
scales, and protection from arbitrary hiring or dismissal to prevent the use
of government jobs as patronage.

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The independent public authorities to keep major construction projects -
like bridges and tunnels - out of reach politicians.

The splitting up of management functions and creating separately elected
clerks, judges` even sheriffs.

The creation of city managers profession who could run the bureaucracy
in an efficient and businesslike manner in order to keep the administration
untainted by the influence of politicians.

The progressive movement was aimed to cure bureaucracies from corruptions,
arbitraries and protect the public interest. By doing this, another problem was
created: more rules and procedures were developed to control all the processes;
consequently the outcomes or results were neglected (Osborne & Gaebler, 1993).
This situation had systematically reinforced the bureaucracy by elaborating more
procedures to struggle with corruption and encourage trust but the efficiency in
term of output was ignored. New Public Administration (NPA)

Very soon the progressive public administration became the New Public
Management22 with the same zeal and determination but in new techno-socio-
political environment. The NPA move took the private sector management as a
model in terms of outcomes and management skills. Now procedures or
processes are no more the actual issues. The vertical hierarchy cedes its place
to horizontal authority (decentralization) in order to give more power to
disaggregated department of public administration in the objective to reach
efficiency and results by a new type of control (Hood, 1995). Based on the
private sector model, citizens are seen much like customers. The NPM move

22 In this research New Public Management and New Public Administration are interchangeable.
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would be the dominant modernization process, which has led to major reforms in
many OECD and developing countries.

The new public management is defined as a new paradigm, which aimed to
promote a performance-oriented culture in a less centralized public
administration (OECD, 1996). The NPA is characterized by a closer focus on
outcomes, a decentralized management environments, a greater focus on
efficiency and productivity, and a responsive administration.

This OECD statement posits well these tenets:

"This fundamental change in outlook has engaged all Member countries in a
difficult process of cultural change: Instead of thinking in terms of due process
and rigid frameworks for service provision, institutions and individuals are
encouraged to focus more on improving the results of public interventions,
including exploring alternatives to direct public provision" (OECD, 1996).

Holmes and Shand (1995)23 use the following definition:

"A more strategic or results-oriented (efficiency, effectiveness and service quality)
approach to decision-making";

"The replacement of highly centralized hierarchical organizational structures with
decentralized management environments where decisions on resource allocation
and service delivery are taken closer to the point of delivery, where greater
relevant information is available and which provide scope for feedback from
clients and other interest groups";

23 (Holmes and Shand, Management Reform; Some Practitioner Perspectives on the Past Ten
Years Governance, October, 1995, p. 551)

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"Flexibility to explore alternatives to direct public provision which might provide
more cost effective policy outcomes";

"Focusing attention on the matching of authority and responsibility as a key to
improving performance, including through such mechanisms as explicit
performance contracting;

The creation of competitive environments within and between public sector

"The strengthening of strategic capacities at the centre to "steer" government to
respond to external changes and diverse interests quickly, flexibly and at least

"Greater accountability and transparency through requirements to report on
results and their full costs"; and

"Service-wide budgeting and management systems to support and encourage
these changes."

Hyden (1992 and 2000), Bratton & van de Walle, (1992) noted a governance
abuse tendency in developing country which result to: personalized nature of rule
in which key political actors exercise unlimited power; systemic clientelism;
misuse of State resources and institutionalized corruption; opaque government;
breakdown of the public realm; lack of delegation of power and withdrawal of the
masses from governance. These pathologies required critical cure, therefore
lending organizations intervened in early 1990`s with good governance programs,
which mainly emphasize the NPM tenets dominating the different reforms
initiated in 1980`s in OECD countries. According to the World Bank, good
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governance consists of a public service that is efficient, a judicial system that is
reliable, and an administration that is accountable to the public. Then the Bretton
Woods institution elaborates on four elements of good governance (World Bank,
1989, 1992), which was the nostrum for developing nations in order to achieve
performance and efficiency:

1. Public sector management emphasizing the need for effective financial
and human resource management through improved budgeting,
accounting and reporting, and rooting out inefficiency particularly in
public enterprises;

2. Accountability in public services, including effective accounting, auditing
and decentralization, and generally making public officials responsible for
their actions and responsive to consumers;

3. A predictable legal framework with rules known in advance; a reliable and
independent judiciary and law enforcement mechanisms; and

4. Availability of information and transparency in order to enhance policy
analysis, promote public debate and reduce the risk of corruption.

Obviously the World Bank has mixed up different reforms experienced by
developed nations in order to outline an NPMlike` agenda enhancing the
following watchwords in mid 1990`s:

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Decentralization24 to lower state control in order to be more responsive
and allowing the community`s interests to be represented in government
decision-making structures,
Privatization, which refers to the transfer of control and responsibilities for
government functions and services to the private sector ­ private voluntary
organizations or private enterprises.

Contracting-out 25 to realize cost savings from inefficient public
bureaucracies that are more intent on satisfying the wishes of producer
groups than of consumers.

This scheme constitutes the sinequanon conditions for developing nations to
have access to international lending funds to overcome economic crisis while
endeavoring to be more effective and efficient in public service delivery.
Consequently the good governance reform proposed by the World Bank should
be the shortcut to draw those countries on applying worldwide movement that is
the NPM. Nonetheless the pressure of the post-modern society characterized by
a global economy mainly dominated by technology ignores which nation is rich or
poor, so each government has to do their part to satisfy their citizens whether
with limited resources and at the same time integrate this global economy at the
dawn of the 1990s.

24 Decentralization can be defined as the transfer of authority or responsibility for decision making,
planning, management, or resource al ocation from the central government to its field units,
district administrative units, local government, regional or functional authorities, semi-autonomous
public authorities, parastatal organizations, private entities and non-governmental private
voluntary organizations.
25 Refers to the out-sourcing or buying in of goods and services from external sources instead of
providing such services in-house. It is a method of privatization that is increasing in popularity due
to the emphasis on efficiency and service delivery.
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If bureaucracy was a theoretical framework proposed by Weber, the progressive
movement was a pragmatic framework argued by administrators with bold
awareness pertaining to relevant changes started in local rather than national
governments. Among others26, Osborne and Gaebler in their book Reinventing
Government (1992) produced a popular agenda for high-performance
government in United-States (1993). However the NPA move was later formally
addressed and embraced by academe and schools. The Minnowbrook
Conferences (1968, 1988) held by Dwight Waldo was the momentum in the
formation of the identity of the NPA movement in United States. At this
conference they argued for drastic changes, for a new public administration; an
administration based on relevance, participation, change, values, and social
equity (Radin, Hildreth and Miller, 1998). Never before, had the government been
under such pressure to change the administration27. These changes were aimed
to deal with a new social environment. A global marketplace with competitive
pressure on national economy, an information society in which people have
access to information almost as quickly as their leaders do, a Knowledge based-
society where educated people demand more autonomy, a niche market where
customers accustomed to high quality and extensive choice were going to
change radically the society, as well the public administration (Osborne and
Gaebler, 1992). The technology factor in the NPA period

The assumption of the NPA was spurred on by many changes in the society: the
explosion of the society that makes it more difficult to satisfy its needs, the
industrialization of the technology, the explosion of PC, and its diffusion by the

26 Christopher Hood has the same impact on the English government in 1991
27 Consequently, the former President Clinton (United States) in 1993 initiated a new strategic
reform named reinventing government. The Clinton regime endeavored to end the unresponsive
hierarchical model and top down bureaucracy for a new public sector both less expensive and
more efficient.
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private sector. But the effective use by the private sector to improve its
performance would draw serious attention. Thus the adoption of the technology
as the way toward performance is followed. ---) Add more details

1.2.4 The links between the public management trends

In the above-mentioned trends (Bureaucracy, Post-Bureaucracy), _____
Information technologies were mainly used to provide technical support for the
work of the administration. However in the NPM period the technology was over-
emphasized and the focus was on problems, which could be solved by technical
means (Traunmuller, 1999; Schuppan/Reichard, 2002).

The figure (1) below shows clearly that the differences between the trends
stemmed from the social and political conjuncture that is less considerable (Hood,
1994). There is a permanent connection between them, which is the Rules or
Procedures. However, dependent on social and political circumstances, other
elements are stressed more than in the former trend. The bureaucracy for
example, supports centralization of the public administration by erecting rigid
rules and this was the new way to modernize the public management. The PPA
endorses accountability while maintaining the centralization thought. The NPM
also encourages accountability but aims to unburden the public administration by
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decentralization and focuses on results and outcomes. Now the e-government,
as we will see later, advocates technological modernization while being citizen
oriented and vertical-controlled. Hence the modernization in e-government
regime does not have the same meaning as in the bureaucracy. The e-
government modernization is by information technology instead by rules whilst
authors alert professionals not to digitalize the administration but reengineer the
administrative processes (Fountain, 2001); we will talk more about it later.





Rules &




Horizontal control

Outcomes and Citizen


Figure 1.3 the links between the public management trends

The second figure beneath illustrates the degree of technology employment in
the different trends studied here. The bureaucracy used organizational
technology (telephone, trucks, and other existent ordinary technologies) to
strengthen the administration, while the New Public Management deployed
information systems and other communication technologies to reach outcomes
and turn the administration into a citizen-focused organization.
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More organizational



Rules &
Debut of

al technology




Fig. 2 the use of technology

Figure 1.4 the level of technology in public management trends

The 3rd figure shows how information technology was viewed with regard to
performance. As stated above, the bureaucracy leaned toward rules and
workforce to achieve performance, though New Public Management and Network
government are technology centered in the struggle for performance.

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Rules &






Figure 1.5 Technology and performance

Today, given that the ubiquity and the power of the information technologies,
some scholars predict that the time to reinvent the public administration is rung.
Other researchers argue that information technology has the capacity to lead to
the desperate radical` administrative reform (Fountain, 2002), which was never
being achieved by the former trends28. As indicated by Fountain, Technology is
a catalyst for social, economic, and political change at the levels of the individual,
group, organization and institution. This one-sided, narrow, staunch approach
from a deterministic and utopian view of IT ____ ignores many vital factors that
lead to the desired change or transformation.

28 Even after many transformational reforms undertaken by some OECD countries like US, many
citizens are stil complaining of the burdensome bureaucracy of the public sector.
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1.2.5. The nature of public management reform

Administrative reform implies radical and dramatic change if not incremental­ low
or higher level of change (Kraemer, 2003). The different trends studied above are
describing the several reforms taken on by governments during the past 20 years.
Can we identify the forces, which spur on a reform? How can we understand the
process of reform in a developing country?

One of the authors addressing eloquently the administrative reform in the context
of the post-bureaucratic period is Bouckaert (2004); in his book Public
Management Reform he pointed out the main forces that have driven reforms in
countries and how these forces can determine the success of reforms. According
to him, the socio-economy (which includes the global economic forces, the socio-
demographic change and the socio-economic policies) and the political system
(comprising the new management ideas, the pressure from citizens and the
ideas of political parties) are both two principal forces that form a decision
making process-fostering changes in the administrative system (see figure
below). Considering this framework, we could conclude that socio-economic
forces particularly the global economy which alleviated effects fostered by
lending organizations compel developing nations to embrace new management
ideas in condition of international loans. As a result the decision making process
overlooks the citizens` desiderata and the national political ideas. The incapability
of government in these countries to meet basic needs do not leave them any
alternatives but the Bretton Woods agenda and the population while never
experiencing a customer-oriented approach initiated by a strong private sector is
unable to exercise pressure for better public services. This sad reality constitutes
a real threat for successful reforms in developing nations.

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1.2.6. Conclusion

At this stage we have learned that from 19th to 21st century our society has
experienced two main public administration periods: the bureaucracy and the
post-bureaucracy (New Public Administration and the e-government). Yet we will
read that they both respond to a social context and technological environment.
From a low paced-society to global and rapid changing society, new footsteps
were required. Although in bureaucracy era workforce was the key factor to
reach performance, NPA promotes experts and technology to achieve
performance and nowadays e-government argues that sophisticated information
and communication technologies are vital to attaining performance (see Fig. 2).
The trends studied above describe the wave of reforms carried out by many
countries in the last 20 years, although we learned that developing countries
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present a particularity when the forces driven their reforms are not spurred on by
their political system but mainly by lending organizations on behalf of economic
crisis in order to guaranty international loans. These so-called reforms in
developing nations are culminating very often to a performance according to an
organizational framework from these institutional organizations and due to lack of
local resources and education the use of information technology during the
process is often not sustainable. Is it rational then to consider performance a
corollary of information technology? We will later study whether technology has
a significant (positive/negative) impact on public administration, ___ what impact
they have and how to improve the positive ones? At this step of the research it is
very important to study what Information Technology is and how performance
can be achieved with it, while focusing on the case of developing nations.

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Chapter 2: Information Technology (IT)
2.1. Information
Simon (1983) posits that in the post-industrial age the issue for management will
not be production organization but processing information. This statement makes
it clear that information would be an important issue in our today world. So what
is Information in the context of management and computer science? The
literature reveals different meanings and even counter-meanings of information.
However let us start frankly by saying that until now information has not a precise
theory that could lead to a meaningful assertion (Goguen, 1997). If Bowker
(1994), Haraway (1991) and Agre (1995) consider information as a myth, Schiller
(1994) views it as commodity in the post-industrial society. Petit Robert
dictionary defines information as a « useful » data on something or someone
whom we carry in the knowledge of a person or a public. If information improves
the knowledge of person on a subject, the level of utility of the information
depends on his perception, which depends on his environment.

According to Rigaud (1979) the meaning of information implies four components:
absence of uncertainty, freedom of choice, preservation of the organization
and evolution by exchange. Thus information confers opportunities and
constraint. Zardet (1986) stated, Any message, new or repeated, emitted by an
internal or external actor to the company or to its environment is information. But
Davis (1987) argues A set of data transformed under significant shape for the
person who receives it, having a real value for its decisions and his actions.
Consequently we cannot sum up information as mere message, but data is
more appropriate when taking into account the richness of the information
technology and communication used in enterprises to transmit sound, video,
pictures and text.
2.1.1. The value of information

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Can we assign a value to information? For Shanon (1949) the importance of
transmitted information depends on its quantitative objective contents. The more
an event appears as improbable, the more the information concerning this event
becomes important, so defining the quality of information as its level of relevance.
In his meaning theory of the information, Mc Kay (1969) establishes that the
information is what forms or transforms the representation, so positioning in a
systematic vision. He demonstrates that the treatment of a set of data allows to
create the information, and thus to reduce the uncertainty of the decision-maker.

What do we learn from the above-mentioned authors? Information is an
interpretation of a configuration of signs or data for which members of an
organization are accountable. Outside the organization, which is the context,
the set of data or signs would have any significance. Information will have a
value when it is configured in a context or environment where members of
this environment will be able to give an interpretation which is the meaning
and its value.

Figure 2.0
2.1.2. Information as a good

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Shapiro & Varian (1999) define information as a good and a particular product.
According to them, Information has several unique characteristics, which render
it difficult to valuate. Information is an unusual good in many aspects -
production, distribution, cost, and consumption. Information is both an end
product and an instrument or input into the production of other goods, decisions
and information. It is expensive to produce and cheap to reproduce (Bates 1989;
Shapiro and Varian 1999). In fact, distribution is accomplished mainly by
reproduction or copying. Different media can distribute the same content, and the
price is often derived from the medium rather than from the value delivered by
the content itself. In point of fact, people consume information both by sharing
and by purchasing, while most other goods are consumed via purchasing only.
The cost of information can be either direct or indirect. The quest for the value of
information is further complicated by the fact that information is an experience
good, meaning that its value is revealed only after consumption (Shapiro and
Varian 1999; Van Alstyne 1999).

Much research has been done in order to set a calculation method to information
(Repos, 1995), however we consensually accept two approaches: the exchange
value and the utility value. As a result, the value of information depends on its
usage value, though it has not an absolute value.
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Figure 2.1 Information concept

The figure 2.1 summarizes the different items assigned to information in a
particular context in a certain environment (internal and external) transforming or
configuring the data (sign, message, good, etc) in order having a meaning and a
value for the actors exchanging within and through the organization.

In this research the term information will refer to management context, we intend
by the word information "A set of new or repeated data, emitted by an internal or
external actor, to the organization or to its environment, allowing her to modify
her vision of the environment to make a decision. As a result information is
considered as major resource for a strategic purpose in an organizational

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2.1.3. The information system concepts
Before defining information system, since we have already described
Information, it might help to define System. The understanding of System is
a set of elements, which interact between them by exchanging internal and
external information with the support of communications. (BOUZE, 1983).

Literature does not provide a unique definition of the information system concept,
definitions are numerous and different. Le Moigne (1990), for instance, defines
the information system as an interface between the production system and the
pilot system. Lesca and Lesca (1995) emphasize that the information system
connects organization, technology and humans with the objective to treat the
information with regard to the goals of the enterprise. The authors stress the idea
of a dedication of the information system as a tool to the service of the
organization and of its goals. On the other hand Earl (1989) and Courbon (1993)
define four functions of the information system: seizing, memorizing, treating and
communicating. Reix (1995) completes this definition by adding that the objective
of the information system is to treat information to offer a more relevant
representation of the reality, to reduce the limited rationality (Davis, 1987) and
award two types of objectives to information system: Supplying the management
(information piloting system) with information and treating the information to
realize activities of the company (information production system). As a result,
Reix (1995) defines the system information as set of organized resources:
material, software, staff, data, and procedures allowing acquiring, treating,
storing, communicating information through the organization.
2.1.4. How we perceive information system today
Today this expression refers mostly to computer tools, the technical core of the
system. Regarding technological progress, information system inevitably means
computer support. Indeed, the appearance of the Information system concept is
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not without link with the headways of the technology in information integrators
systems (i.e. architectures client / server, Intranet, internet, distributed data
bases). Additionally, this definition also includes elements outside the computer
tool such as the users, the suppliers and the various sources of information,
networks and communication protocols, etc., for without these elements, the
Information system would not be dynamic. More importantly, in an information
system, information is above all digital whether it is text, sound, images or video.
It can be structured (a database) or amorphous (set of files stored in hard disk).

According to Reix`s definition, we name information system in this research A
computer based system in which an articulated set of resources like human,
technologies, rules and procedures permits to acquire, to store, to treat and to
distribute information in the aim to help people or a group of people in decision
making process.
2.1.5. Characteristics of information system (IS)
Every information system is characterized by the following elements (Leitzelman
& Dou, 1998) within an organization:

A source of information, in which is the original information,

A user who asks question,

An interrogation module which interprets the question of the user,
looks for the information and restores the results,

A network and communication protocol, which allows the connection
between the elements of the system.

In accordance with Quinio (1997) an information system may be:
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a) Dynamic when being organized around a set of resources (technical,
organizational and human).

b) An open system, which interacts with the upper-system of the
organization. The system of information appears as a sub-system and is
defined as a system, which treats the information in agreement with the
objectives of the organization.

c) Active and adaptive: As sub-system of the organization system, the
information system is organized, but must also be adaptive. Regarding
the objectives of the organization, the information system is opened to
the environment and interacts with it.

d) Controlled and evaluated when being "piloted" to organize it`s functioning,
insure its development and the necessary corrections. The use of
information technology is crucial at this step.
2.1.6. Typology of information system (IS)
Zardet (1986) suggests three kinds of information system:

1. Stimulating type: The information system works without major break,
it starts with the process of acquiring, passing by the treatment and the
circulation of information to get at the process of decision-making. It is
the most complete system because it leads to decision-making
process and stimulates a decisive action (Voyant, 1997).
2. Transformational type: The second allows not only the circulation of
information but its understanding and its transformation (interpretation)
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in the environmental context of the organization by appealing to the
cognitive capacity of the user.
3. Basic informational type: The last one is the basic type, which allows
the acquisition, the treatment, the circulation and the reception of the
information. This type does not stimulate any decisive action and in
turn engender any economic product for the organization.

Figure 2.2 Typology of Information System

2.1.7. Information in a decision making process
According to H. A. Simon (1960) we define decision-making process as
identification and resolution of problems faced by organization. But the
information generated by a system is encountering the limited rationality of the
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user (human) because of its cognitive character, which is going beyond
organizational procedures. As a result researchers establish that information
does not automatically lead to rational decision (Emery & Trist, 1995; Le Moigne,
1973, 1979; Gorry & Scott-Morton, 1971; Boland & Hirschheim, 1987; Felman &
March, 1991; Silver, 1991; Boland, 1994).

As studied above, its polysemic nature subjects information to a variety of
interpretation that will make the result of decision based on certain information a
pure contingent. Bourre & Darson (1993) observe that information systems are
under-utilized if we consider it as the principal step to decision. The intuition of
human beings always drives him to select information not regarding the
organization`s procedures but according to his preferences (Crozier & Friedberg,
1977). If information is important for the decision maker the question is what
information do we talk about?
2.1.8. The value of information system (IS)
Therefore, how must we consider an information system in an organization?
Regarding the ambiguity which characterizes the connection between information
and decision, it would not be rational to think that an information system
whatsoever could provide relevant and absolute information to a decision maker
(Ackoff, 1967; Le Moigne, 1974, 1986; Marmuse, 1992; Bartoli & Le Moigne,
1996). The numerous factors involved in the process and the complex
environment of the organization virtualized by an information system and the
above-mentioned issues make it a pure hazard. An information system, whether
it is a database or electronic government system, is useful when being adaptive
to its environment thus to the needs of the decision maker. This will guaranty to a
certain degree the causation of the information to the result of decision.
2.2. E-government Systems

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2.2.1 What is e-government?
E-government which is an information system refers to the use of information
technologies such as intranet, extranet, internet and other networking systems to
establish a perfect availability of information and deliver electronic services to
citizen and businesses (public) in order to transform the relations with these ___
and between/within its different agencies and organizations (WorldBanks;
Howard, 2001; Backus, 2001). E-government is a client-oriented (according to
NPM trend) or citizen-oriented approach toward efficiency and effectiveness.
This definition may be considered simple minded when transposing the approach
of the private sector (ecommerce) of the use of IT within the public administration
without any critical observation ­ later we will discuss the flaws of the e-
government idea.
2.2.2. The stages of e-government
According to researchers and scholars, e-government may evolve from simple
Internet presence to fully integrated government systems. So the use of the
technologies and its dynamic trait condemn any IT system and organization IT
based to change and grow. In this paper we will not question the stages; we will
simply indicate them as listed by researchers (Gartner, 2000). But it is worth
noting that the stages hereunder are not necessarily mutually exclusive or
progressive, the determining factor will be the problem tackled by public
managers and the needs of the citizens. Informational stage

At this stage government and public sector organizations have a simple presence
on the web via static web sites through which government provides static
information about agencies and services provided to citizen and business. We
may consider this phase as the digital brochure of the agencies with relevant
information available on the web that could save time for citizens and businesses.
Listed below is information that may be put online in the first phase:
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Information on services and administrative processes
Performance indicators;
Environmental indicators;
Auditors results;
Management reports;
Released notes;
Geographic, demographic and economic data;
Etc Interactive stage

The second phase is adding interaction on the former by rendering possible two-
way communication between public managers and the public (citizen & business)
(internal and external communication level).

Hence, the public could :
Address directly the public managers on specific issue within different
levels of ___ public administration;
Public can use search engine to find desired information;
Public can download forms then complete before sending the hard paper
form to the administration;
Public may participate in electronic forum concerning social and political
Etc. Transactional stage

This stage provides an alternative to the public (citizen & business) not only to
download and complete forms but to pay online. This stage completes its
predecessor by offering the public the opportunity to be served online without any
displacement; now a virtual organization is established. This stage is often called
e-services phase. Most of countries` e-government initiatives are still at this stage
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preparing transition for the fourth stage by adopting new rules or adapting former
rules in order to transform the organizational processes. Transformational stage

This stage should be the favorite of the proponents of the e-government reform,
for this phase leads to fully integrated services. Citizens have access through a
single portal to all services and pay their bill online. Now government undertakes
institutional and administrative reforms to transform its business processes. This
stage is considered as the most complex and expensive in e-government
evolution. But the return on investment expected, the transparence and the good
governance promoted make it worthwhile.

According to empirical studies, these stages are applied in the context of different
government administrative levels: local, state and national. However local e-
government initiatives are still at their stammering phase.

2.2.3 Type of e-government

As e-government definition implies, the use of technology is to transform
relationships of government with citizen and business. We identify three types of

1. Government to Citizen (GtoC) when government provides information and
delivers service on line to citizen.
2. Government to Business (GtoB) when government does the same toward
business (Business here may include NGOs).
3. GtoG when information technology is used to improve communication and
information management among agencies and internal partners (like
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Transformational stage

E-gov wave

Transactional stage

Interactive stage

Informational stage


Figure 2.3 E-government type, stage and level

2.2.4. The promise of E-government
E-government promises to change the delivery of public services and the broader
interaction between the public and government. Governance on the regime of e-
government is promised to be global to solve public service challenge (Pierre,
2000). E-government should lead to openness, participation, accountability,
effectiveness and coherence (According the good governance definition of the
European Commission). The e-government should provide new services,
improve efficiency, enhance ___ citizen participation, strengthen the global
information infrastructure (Bohman, 2001) and increase trust of the public
through transparence. At the end we should have a responsive administration
with new organizational culture, i.e. staff focused on performance and services
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focused on customers` needs. This framework should lead to whole range of
administrative projects including e-democracy, e-voting, e-justice, e-education, e-
healthcare, e-agriculture, and e-etc.
2.2.5. The Achilles' heel of the e-government thought
As suggested by cyber-culture definition (See virtual organization chapter 3),
science fiction was a great contribution to all cyber-thing or e-thing
scholarships. As a result most of literary relating to the subject reflects a dual
distortion of the reality: utopia and dystopia. The utopian school is futuristic and
blinded optimistic. For its proponent e-government and IT in general will reinvent
the public administration, will revitalize the politics, will allow for subversive or
alternative forms and uses of technology, will enable humans to explore new
forms of consciousness, and will be part of the heralding-in of a new age (Ken
Hillis 34).
The utopian deterministic thinking goes back to Plato`s Republic where evils are
no more until the Thomas Jefferson`s magic Nature. Many literary authors place
Internet and technology on the same pedestal where religious place faith in
Christ. Technology is seen as universal savior who will free public administration
from incompetence, from corruption, from inefficiency, and as a way toward a
perfect and ideal administration within a perfect society (Barlow, 1996).
The reality is that any balance study regarding technology requires seeing the
technology in a social environment not the society in a technological environment.
The reductionism and essentialist patterns of the techno-futurism lying in the
early scholarships reveal astonishing thinking flaws after two decades of the
information technology evolution.
A close look to Internet technologies may somehow turn the dream to a
nightmare. If we consider the arguments of dystopian scholars, technology can
be seen as a digitalization of incompetence, inefficiency and burdensome rules
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what have been reproached to the bureaucratic administration trend. Also the
potentiality of IT may vastly increase opportunities for surveillance and regulation
of staff, which could necessarily lead to an inegaliterian system. Given that NPM
was transposing managerial process of the private sector in the public sector
gives a narrow view on e-government as a result some researchers have seen e-
government as the governmentalization of e-business or implementation of e-
business in public sector. This view may alter the way to measure e-government
performance since government is not pursuing profits as the private sector.
The principal imperfection of e-government philosophy is that it should
cause the reform or the so-called radical change. Empirical studies advocate
that information technology has been used most often to reinforce existing
organizational deficiencies (Attawell and Rule, 1986; Danziger, et al., 1982;
Dutton, et al., 1987; Kraemer and King, 1979; Laudon, 1974; Perry and Kraemer,
1979; King and Kraemer, 1998; Holden, 2003). Fountain (2002), while being
considered as a proponent of the utopian e-government thought, recognized that
even the most innovative uses of IT typically work at the surface of operations
and boundary-spanning processes are accepted because they leave the deep
structure of political relationships intact.

We have an administrative reform when the administrative processes and rules
are changed dramatically. Could e-government change rule or bring univocally
new rules in organizational process of public administration? In other terms will e-
government shape public administration? Mackenzie and Wacjman (1985)
propose the adverse thought: Technology does not develop according to an
inner technical logic but is instead a social product, patterned by the conditions of
its creation and use (Williams and Edge, 1986: 866). Fountain (2001) concluded
that an enacted technology is an outcome of the mutual interaction between
technical and organizational/institutional factors. In social-technical analysis it
would be simplistic to state that e-government causes reform or reshapes
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administration, we would then fail to acknowledge the complexity of
organizational, political and social factors that shape the adoption, design
and use of any IT project.
2.2.6. Will e-government and information systems keep their promise?
E-government and information systems promise solutions to public organization
without changing business processes and rules. We cannot have radical change
or reform within an organization without affecting its business processes. The
spur-of-the-moment of the techno-futurism movement displays narrow approach
that hides the complex social and political environment of an e-government
implementation. We know that action in organization is achieved around rules,
which will create a system in which the organization will grow and evolve
(Vanberg, 1994). Researchers establish two rule system mechanisms, problem
solution guiding and behavior-control (Gil-Garcia and Martinez-Moyano, 2005).

Problem solution guiding is the scenario for public managers to establish rules
and procedures in order to ensure the well being of the ongoing process. This
mechanism compels the public managers to focus on how the initiative is
undertaken with regard of the established rules and the results expected. If this
system claims performance at the end of the tunnel, the needs of the public could
not be better understood without their participation (citizen, business and NOGs,
etc), since the problems identified by e-government are not only technical, but
also mainly social and political. As a consequence the public should be
necessarily involved in the process that is behavior-control mechanism. Initially
designed by public managers, e-government initiatives in time will be subjected
to citizen (and public in general) control and they will indicate the designer what
they expect from the e-government system designed, what services they want
and what level of technological sophistication they can tolerate (La Porte et al.
2001; Ho, 2002; Gil-Garcia, 2005). Consequently the public will redesign the
rules designed originally by the e-government managers, thus we conclude that
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the social and political environment has a continuous influence on the system
design and vice versa.






Figure 2.4 How rules are established in e-government regime

The figure above demonstrates that e-government initiatives are establishing
rules under influence of political and social environment though the political realm
delegated the administrative process. However many failures in implementation
of e-government system reveal weakness or an absence of political will. And as
described below, the participation of the public in the process will systematically
reshape the rules primarily designed.
2.3. Conclusion

E-government as an information system is considered as a solution to reach
openness, participation, accountability, effectiveness and coherence. The
technology itself without any business process transformation will be just a
digitalization of the former organization. Deception again will fall upon the
proponents of e-government. This transformation will not be achieved because of
the complex environment of the evolution of e-government by virtualization. The
destiny of any information system is not really at the hand of the technology. The
political vision of the government (political), the empowerment of the citizen and
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business (social), the business process reform (administrative) are crucial factors
that determine the success of an e-government implementation.

At this stage of our research we must consider three things that impede the
causation of information system relating to results of a decision making as effect:
First, the absence of ontological trait of information which is the output of an
information system that makes it difficult to link a set of exact information to a
decision. Second, the limited rationality of human being inclines him to select
information not regarding the organization rules but to his inclination. And third
the complex environment of a virtual organization (with an information system)
requires a decision maker to go beyond the information generated by his system.
The global approach evaluation, the more open approach and less restrictive and
limited, is the rational one that can lead to certain results. But before we address
information system issues regarding performance and productivity, let us see
now the complex environment created by the virtualization of an organization.

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Chapter 3: The virtual Organization
3.1 Virtual organisation concept
The literature of management is bundled of new forms of organization theories.
Queerly these new forms stem from business practices, which are dated since
the beginning of humanity. Recently the intensive use of information technologies
(IT) brings too many challenges and changes within/through organizations that
scholars write a great deal of papers on new forms of organization generated by
IT. Nowadays the real debate relating to new forms of business is summed up to
virtual organization. What is virtual organization? Is virtual organization a new
organization form or a new organizational process? What is the driven force of
the virtual organization? Considering the management literature of the last
decade, what have been changed in the virtual organization concept?

Often virtual organization is used to describe new organizational business forms
that emerge with the application of information and communication
infrastructures such as information system. According to Fisher (1998) & Hoefling
(2001) virtual organization stands for a task, project or permanent organization
which is decentralized and independent of any spatial connection. Considering
the different relevant definition of the VO in management literature, the effort to
better understand the subject and changes brought through the last years will
pay off. Our analysis below is not taking into account all definitions coined by
authors regarding virtual organization since 1990, but the chosen definitions can
actually help grasp the characteristics of VO as a result figuring out what implies
a virtual organization.

"The enterprises involved keep their legal and economic independence.
Lawyers have very different opinions of the body corporate of virtual
organizations. But it is a common rule that virtual organizations are no joint
ventures. They are may be called corporations of civil society"
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(Gesellschaft Bugerlichen Rechts, §§ 705).

"The purpose of virtual organization is the optimal use of opportunities
which derive from the market and/or from resources". (Weber & Walsh

"The Virtual organization is a cooperation of enterprises. Members of
Virtual Organization can be great trusts as well as small one-person firms.
It is imaginable that a self-employed consultant becomes a member of
virtual organization and of a multinational corporation at the same time.
This means that virtual organization will be decomposed when the object
is accomplished. In most cases virtual organization will only exist for a
short time. If there are no other advantageous organizational alternatives
to produce a special out-put, virtual organization are also imaginable for a
long-term period". (Arnold & Hartling 1995).

"The use of information and communication technologies is a
constitutional feature of virtual organizations (Mertens 1994). Sometimes
IT is called an "enabler" of virtual organizations". (Suomi/Luukinen & Al

"(...) Groups of agile manufacturing enterprises." S. L. Goldman & R. N
Nagel (1993)

« Par l'utilisation intégrée d'ordinateurs et de technologies de
communications, les entreprises seront de moins en moins définies par
des murs concrets ou par un espace physique, mais par des réseaux de
collaboration reliant des centaines, des milliers et mêmes des dizaines de
milliers de personnes ensemble. » S. Bleeker (1994)

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"Virtual Organization refers to a temporary or permanent collection of
geographically dispersed individuals, groups, organizational units ­ which
do or belong to the same organization ­or entire organizations that
depend electronic linking in order to complete the production process." B.
Travica (1997)

"We define the virtual organization as a temporary, flexible arrangement of
dispersed components, contributed my multiple organizations and linked
together with information technologies." D. Robey & al.,(1998, p. 277)

"A Virtual Organization is primarily characterized as being a network of
independent geographically dispersed organization with a partial mission
overlap. (...) Further, a Virtual Organization is secondarily characterized
by a single identity with loyalty being shared among the partners and the
co-operation based on trust and information technology." R. Bultje & J.
Van Vijk (1998, p. 16)

"(...) I define a Virtual Organization as any institutionalized form of the
ability to provide its products and services more time and location
independent than its competitors." P. Sieber (1998, p. 258)

"Virtual organizations are electronically networked organizations that
transcend conventional organizational boundaries, with linkages witch
may exist both within and between organizations." J. Burn (1998, p. 3)
3.2. Characteristics of virtual Organization

What do we learn from those descriptions? We note that distance work via
information technologies is the ontological trait of the virtual organization in order
to coordinate economic activities. The organizational process is not restrained by
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space and time. Members of the virtual team or virtual organization may never
meet face to face or do not have to (Drexler & Sibbet, 1988; Hofstede et al., 1997;
Favier & Coat, 1997; Knoll & Jarvenpaa, 1995; Jones & Bowie, 1998). The virtual
organization has an appearance of classical organization but it certainly is not.
Besides the fact that geographic space of work is no more, brick and mortar are
not either principal characteristics of the organization. Thus we can define Virtual
Organization as:

A network of people or organizations, which are independent.

Those people and organizations are realizing a common project or
common economic activity.

The communication and information processes are hold through
information technologies.

The organization does not depend on time and space to be made up.

The figure below points out the principal characteristics of the virtual organization
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Figure 3.0 Characteristics of Virtual organization

Therefore what can motivate a group of people and organization to create a
virtual organization? One of the theoretical approaches to explain the formation
of organization is transaction cost approach (Williamson 1985; Schmidt, R. H
1992). A cooperation which aims to produce a certain output (like goods and
services) has to choose a specific form of coordination from a continuum of
various coordination possibilities (Arbeitpapiere, 1996). The right choice should
be based on the efficient type of coordination for each type of production process.
For this reason minimizing the transaction-cost are the main criteria for choosing
between the different coordination forms (Arbeitpapiere, 1996). The use of
information technologies not only transforms the organizational process, but due
to the absence of geographic barriers and time, it becomes largely feasible to
minimize the transaction cost of enterprises cooperation as of the possibility of
unlimited communication.

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3.3. Typology of virtual Organization
According to Mowshowith (1994) the virtualization may be taken at different
levels. Venkatraman (1995) and Saaksjarvi suggest several stratums in the

Individual level or sub-intraorganizational is regarding local tasks
involving a group of people in a distinct organization via distance
communication process.

Organizational level when information technologies are used to
coordinate the activities of the organization as integration.

And interoganizational level is the last layer where numerous
organizations utilize the information technologies to coordinate an
economic activity (see the picture below).

Figure 3.1 Typology of virtual organization

The virtualization process of an organization may result a:
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Virtual team, which is the simplest form of a VO, is a local team using
information technologies to coordinate their connectivity and share their
knowledge at lower cost.

Virtual project can involve several people or organizations in the
realization of certain task, which are a beginning and designated end.

Temporarily virtual organization is likening a virtual project involving
several organizations in a designated period of time.

Permanent virtual organization is created when there is no designated
period in their cooperation.

The table below depicts the typology of virtual organization (Palmer, J & Speoer,
C:, 1997, 2001)


Virtual Teams
Virtual Projects Virtual
Internal to an
Range of
Across functions
function or
and organizations organizations
departmental unit
Small, local
Typical y larger
Typical y smaller,
but scaleable
All functions and
Teams on
Multiple functions full functionality as
specific, ongoing representatives
responding to a
a working
working on
market opportunity organization
specific projects
Length of project varies, but form is Temporary
Repository of
Channel for
sharing embedded shared data
marketing and
Uses of IT
knowledge (e-
mail, groupware) groupware)
WANs, remote
replacing physical
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(Web, Intranet)

Table 3.0 Palmer, J & Speoer, C:, (1997, 2001)

3.4. Revisiting the concept
Far from the idea to consider the virtual organization as new form of organization
inferred by the intense use of information technology, we should see virtual
organization as an explicit or implicit transformation business process.
Technology (an information system) which is the core of Virtual Organization
must be viewed as intermediary platform and not as the virtual organization itself
(March & Simon 1979; Le Moigne 1984; Avenier 1999; Vidal 2000). Henceforth it
would be simplistic to regard Virtual Organization as a network of actors
intermediated by a communication technology platform in the perspective to
decrease transaction cost in the coordination of an economic activity. The
flexibility of the Virtual Organization provides (no time and space constraint,
independence of actors) an exploration role in order to understand its
environment and adapt itself regarding changes. Though the rational goal of the
Virtual Organization is to exploit (exploitation) opportunities to deliver an output,
exploration is an ontological factor associated to its flexibility character (March,

When created a Virtual Organization must pursue two strategic goals:

Exploitation: Utilization of ICT to coordinate economic activities between
organizations in order to reduce cost and increase productivity and profit.
A univocal view may result that organizations see only their management
routine without being able to comprehend changes in their environment
and find their way to adaptation.

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Exploration: the members of the network must be ready to modify their
perception regarding the evolution of their economic activities. As a result
new knowledge will come up, and the VO will preserve its flexibility, which
is very crucial to survive in a turmoil environment.

It would be a snare as well to consider univocally the technology without seeing
the human factor aspects. Should this organization create a whole virtual
relationship between partners? As the technological platform is an intermediary,
how information should be interpreted?

The polysemiotic trait of information may result discordance in a virtual network
(Le Moigne, 1990). The definition of a sign or information is depending on the
environment, the context and the actors. Thus information can suggest a variety
of perceptions and interpretations what remove any ontological character to
information. Consequently a virtual environment is very complex to deal with
when bearing in mind the cognitive factor of human behavior.
3.5. The risks of virtual organization
Beyond a formal contract that inoculates trust in a relationship in regard of a
Virtual Organization. The absence of physical space (face to face meeting)
requires informal factors to perpetuate the relationship. Besides professional
norms and quality standard procedures, informal factors like reputation (Callon &
Licoppe, 2000) and recommendation are a must to ensure trust. Lorenz (1999)
advocates that implicit engagement is more crucial than writing contract for
virtual organization. He named implicit engagement as moral contract.

As we can see trust is the most important success factor in the case of virtual
organization since physical contacts and other traditional ways to build trust is
somehow avoided. Accordingly, Handy (1995) recommends physical contact to
build and maintain trust for the reason that coordination of virtual organization will
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be a failure if the unpersonalization process is not taken into account (Meissonier,

Control is another key issue of Virtual Organization when we consider the limited
physical contact and the independence of actors suggest by virtual organization
theory. In a virtual environment, traditional ways to identify individuals and their
locations are inefficient. If technology taxonomically engenders this challenge,
technological applications offer new possibilities to control the organizations.
Trust must be associated with control to lower risk in such environment.
3.6. Conclusion
The virtual organization was being viewed in the technology lens that had
shadowed the complexity of the subject. We have seen in this section that
information technology, including information and e-government system is an
intermediate platform between the actors of the network, and this intermediary
must be completed with other traditional Medias in order to establish trust and
control in virtual environment. The scholar and journalists always focus on virtual
forms like portal and e-government models. The productivity and transaction cost
was stressed as the main goal of virtual organization. Actually virtual organization
mainly is an organization process where economic exploitation is entwined with
an exploration perspective in order to remain flexible due to changes in market

At this stage of our research, we must consider three things that impede the
causation of information system relating to results of a decision making as effect:
First, the absence of ontological trait of information which is the output of an
information system that makes it difficult to link a set of exact information to a
decision. Second, the limited rationality of humans inclines him to select
information not regarding the organization`s rules but to his own inclination. And
third the complex environment of a virtual organization (with an information
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system) requires a decision maker to go beyond the information generated by his
system. The global approach evaluation, the more open approach and less
restrictive and limited, is the rational one that can lead to certain results. How do
we consider the virtualization of an organization by implementing an information
system regarding the performance and productivity? If the link between the IS
and performance is established relating the profitability there would be several
intangible elements which cannot be evaluated and this fact could make the
results hypothetic. In this context how do we view performance and productivity
of an information system? How should we see the evaluation of the non-
evaluable elements in a virtual environment?

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Chapter 4: Study of Performance and impacts of information systems
4.1 Performance concepts
Performance is another concept that has not an explicit definition. But in
management it refers to realization of goals, to evaluation of objectives, to
evaluation of outputs obtained, to relation between objectives, means and results
or inputs and outputs (Bouquin, 1991; Bartoli, 1997). Also performance may be
studied regarding a person or a group executing a task, an organization or group
of organizations and a project. However performance is often described as a
correlation between efficacy and efficiency.

The efficacy can be defined as the link between the objectives set and the
results reached by the organization when limited to the strategic goals as the
referential for the actors of the organization (Zardet, 1986). The efficacy is thus
measured by correlating the outputs to the objectives set in the organization. In
information systems, it is a question of measuring in which point the system
reaches the defined objectives. The efficiency is usually often refers to quality

The efficiency is measured by correlating the outputs to the means used to
produce them. It is the measure more objective and easier to obtain that the
efficacy. The efficiency is usually associated to the productivity, or the profitability
and profit (Bartoli, 1997).
A diagram here

The design of a performance measure depends on several factors: the purpose
of the measure, the entity or organization whose quality is being measured, the
dimension of quality being measured, and the nature of measure used for the
assessment, and who will use the measure. Nonetheless the measure used, the
purpose of the measure and the entity that is setting the measure indicators are
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very influential when it comes to translate the reports on performance
assessment; then it is vital to identify the purpose of a measure (Ogden & Davis
1999), the measure itself and the entity which will be measured in order to find
the adequacy of efficacy and efficiency of an organization (Fig. # PMP).

Purpose: Performance measurement has four main purposes.

- The easiest purpose is to describe what a program is accomplishing and
whether results are being achieved regarding some goals and objectives

- The next one, which is more difficult, is to measure an improvement in
outcomes caused by some modification of ___ actions or applications in
process--as in a quality improvement program.

- The third purpose is to compare the quality of service being delivered by
different entities such as different organizations in comparison, while
taking into account the goals of each group and the populations they serve
which will affect the outcomes.

- A fourth purpose that needs to be considered is that civil society may want
to promote a measure simply to stimulate better service and accountability
from public sector.

Entity being measured. : The design of a measure also can be affected by the
entity being measured. A measure that is proven for one entity may not work for

Dimension of quality: A third important factor is the dimension of quality that is
being assessed. The main dimensions are coverage, access, choice of provider,
service, etc. Each of these requires different methods.
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Type of measure: Most of the measures used to compare the quality of service
delivered by various strategies or plans are based on populations. Population-
based measures begin with a group of people who are candidates for some
intervention and calculate the proportion who have a particular outcome. In this
context, the outcome could be the performance of the intervention. The first
case is called a process measure, because it measures some aspect of the
process of care that was performed.

Intended audience: This factor affects the appropriate level of detail and the
clinical sophistication required to understand what a change or difference in a
measure means.

Now we can define the performance measure as a generic term encompassing
the quantitative basis by which objectives are established and performance are
assessed and gauged. Performance measures include performance objectives
and criteria, performance indicators, and any other means that evaluate the
success in achieving a specified goal. As an important element of Total Quality
Management concept, performance measure helps to understand, manage, and
improve what our organization does and how well it is doing. However the
purpose of the process will influence any single factor in the process, the
responsible parties, the data chosen and therefore the outcomes report and the
corrective actions to improve performance. The diagram below shows the
performance measurement process in an organization.
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Figure 4.0

4.2. The performance paradox
The New Public Management reforms undertaken in most western and some
developing states imparts a steering role to government while contracting the
operation and administration to public agencies and third party 29. This trend gave
room to a strong assessment wave as governments wish the administration
contracted operates efficiently; thus the increased interest to performance
measurement (PM) in the public sector coincides with the rise of new public
management reform in the last two decades. Consequently, Fountain (2001)
argues that a strong belief rather simplistic in the measurability of performance
arose in the public sector. Since the performance indicators and other

29 Osborne and Gaebler see the government as a steering function than rowing (see Steering than rowing
chapter in their book (1992)
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management evaluation techniques were adopted from private sector, the
special characteristics of the public sector should result some unintended
consequences (Leeuw, 2000; OECD, 1996)

In this context, Schawrz wrote (in presse): There is a desire to supply managers,
policymakers, legislators and the general public with evaluative information that
is perceived to be reliable, valid and credible, Evaluative information that lacks
these characteristics stands little chance of enhancing transparency,
accountability and democratic governance. Yet, mechanisms for assessing the
"quality" of evaluative information conjure up perverse images of what has been
termed and audit society characterized by increasing layers of inspection, audit,
evaluation and assessment. The audit society expends a huge amount of
resources in assurance activities whose most immediate consequences is to
increase bureaucratization".

The public sector performance measurement contains different examples of
unintended consequences. Bouckaert and Balk (1991) mentioned a dozen
diseases of public productivity measurement resulted from wrong assumptions
underlying measurement, measurement errors, and problems concerning the
content, position and amount of measures. Smith (1995) warned that
performance indicators could inhibit innovation and lead to ossification, which will
become a major obstacle to the public organization. The principal side effects
pointed by Smith is the tunnel vision effect, he defines it as an emphasis on
phenomena that are quantified in the performance measurements scheme at the
expense of unquantified aspects of performance. The measure fixation or the
sub optimization result is another harmful effect when narrow local managers`
objectives are emphasized at the expense of the objectives of the organization
as a whole which lead to the tunnel vision effect. Schmidtlein (1999) pointed
out the lack of theoretical support when noticing that very few studies have been
carried out on the effectiveness of performance budgeting although most states
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authorities are using it. It`s worth noting that these side effects are in
contradiction with the philosophical thought of the new public sector reform idea,
which promotes entrepreneurial public agent and autonomy in public

Finally, Meyer & Gupta (1994) identified the performance paradox, which refers
to a fragile relationship between performance indicators and performance itself. It
imports to note that this paradox is relating to the reports on performance, what
should make us especially precautious regarding the data selected for the
reports and the one who set the performance indicators reported. As a result the
performance could be overrepresented or underrepresented; the conclusion is
that indicators do provide inaccurate report on performance. The authors
aforementioned revealed four processes resulting to deteriorating performance

1. The positive learning, when performance improvement is reached,
indicators lose their sensitivity in detecting bad performance.

2. The perverse learning, when organizations and individuals have learned
which aspects of performance are measured in order to use that
information to manipulate their assessment results.

3. Selection, when replacing poor performers with better performers
consequently reducing differences in performance.

4. Suppression, when differences in performance are ignored.

Several causes of the paradox may be found:

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- A lack of performance indicators makes it difficult to obtain accurate
report on performance (Meyer & Gupta, 1994),

- The elusiveness of policy objectives (Wilson, 1989) which produces
conflict between managers and politicians in regards of goals and
objectives (McGuire, 2001),

- The nonquantifiable of policy goals which makes it difficult to
measure performance, and

- An extensive use of performance indicators often drives to the
perverse learning effects.

What do we learn from the performance paradox? The performance concept is
so controversial that it will never bring a satisfying answer to the matter of
impacts measurement whether it is technology or another factor. But as we
do not have another concept to even ersatz the performance measurement, the
dilemma is that we are compelled to use it. However it is important to trace the
side effects and take them into account in order to deliver more or less an
accurate report on performance of an organization. Given that our study is about
information technology impacts on performance, it is essential to give our
attention to the performance of the technology itself.
4.3. Performance and information systems (IS)
Now the most critical questions pertaining to our research are these: can
technology really improve organization performance? What sort of impacts of
technology may we identify in public management? Many empirical studies on
economy-wide and aggregated industry level [(Jonscher (1983), Baily & Gordon
(1988), Roach (1989b), Siegel & Griliches(1992), Oliner & Sichel (1994),
Jorgenseon & Stiroh (1995)] from 80`s to mid 90`s found little evidence that ICT
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significantly increased productivity in national economy. Robert Solow (1987)
expressed in an unequivocal phrase the disappointment in ICT recorded in many
articles in this period: you can see computer age everywhere but in the
productivity statistics. This statement is proved by the observation of Roach
(1987) that shows the amount of computing power in the service industry was
growing dramatically over 1970`s and 1980`s while the US economy in the same
period has substantially slowed down. Then many articles put on spotlight the
non-significant impact of ICT on productivity. Paradoxically it was impossible to
prove the opposite. This is what information systems literature called the
productivity paradox; nevertheless other researchers like Floyd and Woodrige
(1990) claimed a triangular link between strategy, the ICT and the performance
of an organization.
4.4. Is there productivity paradox or lack of scientific methodology?
The works of Brynjolfsson (1994, 1995, 1996, & 1998) mainly on firm level have
significantly contributed to shed light on the so-called productivity paradox. He
examined four approaches that explain the paradox:

1. The mismeasurement, when outputs and inputs of information-using
industries are not properly measured by conventional approaches. The
same factor that generates the performance paradox30.

2. Lags, when time lags in the pay-offs of information technology make
analysis of current costs versus current benefits misleading. According to
a survey of Nolan & Norton (1998), it takes five years for ICT investments
to pay-off, thus the benefits reported must be distributed through the years
of use, learning and adaptation (see table of organizational performance
over time).

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3. Redistribution, when information technology is especially likely to be used
in redistributive activities among firms, making it privately beneficial
without adding to total output.

4. Mismanagement, when the lack of explicit measures of the value of
information makes it particularly vulnerable to misapplication and over
consumption by managers.

Figure 4.1

Brynjolfsson & Yang (1996) argue that improving the data and measurement
techniques, taking into account the potential lags in the impact of IT and making
adjustments and finding better theoretical models to address the
mismanagement issues will subsequently fade away the productivity paradox.
However finding proper measurement techniques or methodologies is not
unproblematic when considering the intangible characteristic of inputs and
outputs involved in IT productivity effects which very often cause IT
impacts ambivalent and conjectural. It is worth noting that the virtual
environment created by the use of technology in the modern economy is
favorable to intangibles such as variety, timeliness, quality, better
responsiveness to customers and better coordination with suppliers. The
performance evaluation does not always report these hidden cost (Savall, 1974)

30 See performance paradox section page 68
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or inferred cost (Greeman, 1999) like IT training and systems maintenance,
which represent half of total ICT expenditures and consequently ignore the
aforementioned intangibles. The productivity of ICT remains controversial until
new scientific methodological approaches implying the four factors mentioned
above by Brynjolfsson could be found in late 1990`s. In this context, Quinio (1997)
concluded: the productivity paradox is a simple criteria research methodology
paradox for complex effects evaluation.

Dedrick, Gurbaxani & Kraemer (2003), in a conclusive review of over 50
scholarly studies published between 1987 and 2002 on information technology
and productivity, stated that productivity paradox as first formulated has been
effectively refuted. At both the firm and country level, greater investment in IT is
associated with greater productivity growth. There were two more reasons
explaining the failure of the early studies regardless of IT and performance.

1. First as we have seen above, the studies were flawed in both
methodologies and data sets employed.

2. Second, the IT was too nascent to have a measurable impact; as a result
IT performance was quite limited (Atkinson & McKay, 2007). To benefit
from a technology an organization must fully utilize it and reorganize her,
unless this technology is ready for a complete use. This was not the case
for IT in 1980`s to mid 1990`s when we consider that the first Pentium was
introduced in 1993 with average disk drive storage of 2 gigabits and the
fist easy to use Microsoft`s Windows version in 1995, virtually there were
no PC connected to Internet. So we conclude that IT was not ready to be
shown up in statistic as argued by Solow.

From the after-the-dot-com-burst and today several studies show indubitably that
IT boost productivity in firm and national level. A study by Varian, Litan, Elder and
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The Impacts of Information Technology (IT) on Public Administration - 75 -

Shutter (2002) showed that between 1998 and 2001 firms in the US saved $155
billion, and by 2010 are expected to cumulatively save $ 528 billion. Brynjolfsson
(2003) in a study of over 1,167 large US firms found firms with the highest levels
of IT investment per worker had the highest levels of productivity. Daveri (2003)
found that 78 percent of the increase in productivity in US was due to IT. Caselli
and Patterno (2004) found IT investment in manufacturing had a higher impact
on productivity growth in the second half of the 1990`s than in the period 1973-
1995. The OECD31 (2004) found that IT was responsible 109 percent of the
growth in labor productivity from 1996 to 2002. Attrostic and Nguyen (2005)
found that productivity is raised by roughly 7.5 percent by the use of computer
networks in manufacturing plants. The first annual i2010 Report on the European
Information Society (2007) found that in the period 200-2004 ICT accounted for
productivity gains of 0.5 percentage points per year in the EU. The same report
shows that 45% of the 1.1% annual aggregate productivity in Europe was due to
ICT between 2000-2004. Significant impacts of IT on productivity of firms have
been found in many other nations including Australia (Simon and Wardrop 2002),
Canada (Baldwin, Sabourin and Smith 2004), France (Greenan, Mairess and
Topiol-Bensaid 2001), Finland (Maliranta and Rouvinen (2003), Germany
(Hempell), Korea (Seo and Lee 2006), Japan (Motohashi 2003), Netherland (Van
Leeuwen and Van der Wiel (2004), and Switzerland (Simon and Wardrop 2002).
Cross-national studies prove that nations whose invest more in ICT have
recorded more productivity (Schreyer 1999, Gust and Markez 2002, Daveri 2003,
van Ark, Inklaar and McGuckin 2003, CSLS 2005, and OECD 2005).
4.5. Why developing nations have less impact
While ICT investment is fastest rate of growth in developing countries32 (Qiang
and Pitt, 2004), several studies have found that the impacts from the use of ICT

32 IT expenditures rose twice as fast in developing countries from 1993 to 2001 compared to OECD
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to be less than in developed nations (Atkinson & McKay, 2007). Is productivity
paradox back in ICT performance study in developing nations? The key reason is
that their officials have perceived ICT sector as a source of tax revenue and did
little to promote ICT adoption, as a result they imposed high tariffs on imported
ICT products and people found less incentive to use them (give the ict user # in
Africa, in LA and in south Asia). Kaushik and Singh (2004) state relating to ICT
adoption in India: High tariffs did not create a competitive domestic industry, and
they limited adoption by keeping prices high. Heshmati and Yang (2006) give
another reason when arguing that the lack of high quality data on ICT use in
those countries 33 . Also many developing countries have no proficient ICT
observatory to track information on the ICT use and their contribution on the
national economy; consequently many reports stemming from international
organizations are often based on false data34. A further reason is that citizen
workers of developing nations have not been trained to use ICT in order to have
better jobs and higher wages, which could be, resulted in better quality of life and
in turn influence the national economy (Atkinson & McKay, 2007).
4.6. Evaluation concept
Giving that the key problem engendering doubts and pessimism on ICT
productivity in earlier studies is the evaluation method, it is vital to understand the
evaluation concept. The word evaluation finds etymology from the French word
Évaluer which means determine the value of, worth of an object. This term was
used in US from 1960 to measure the level of realization of goals and to compare
different scenarios (Krief, 1999). For Stufflebeam (1980) evaluation is the
process to demarcate, obtain and provide useful information in order to make a
decision. Balantzian (1995) defines evaluation as The allocation of a value

33 For example software usage is much higher than sales which is a result of software piracy.
34 Third World Economics reported that the World Bank's global poverty statistics, based on income and
purchasing power parity, are produced using wrong methodologies and are unreliable for estimating levels,
distribution and trends of global poverty, according to two academics of Columbia University in New York.
(No. 287, 16-31 August 2002)
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The Impacts of Information Technology (IT) on Public Administration - 77 -

according to a set of preferences repository conscript. The search for a pure
objective evaluation is unrealistic because every individual gives a sense to the
evaluation via an interpretation. Quinio (1997) himself describes evaluation as
The stake in balance of the investment to be made and expected profits. From
those various definitions we note that evaluation is aimed to interpret
phenomena by collecting, treating and analyzing information in order to
support judgment on a decision and its consequences. But the result of an
evaluation may be quantitative, qualitative or financial. However Adroino (1993)
warned that Evaluation although embraces the control notion but overtakes this
4.6.1. How to evaluate information system?

According to Quinio (1997) there are numerous evaluation methods and there is
no theoretical consensus on which method is best or not. Then it is imperative to
consider the method regarding to the object to evaluate, the chronological
position of the evaluation and the method to collect data plus the type of data
4.6.2. What to evaluate?

The aim of our research is to evaluate the information systems or
information technologies of 30 public agencies and ministries (see empirical
analysis section). We will target not only one technology but also the ICT
infrastructure and all technology available in each public institution
4.6.3. When and why evaluate?

Scholars establish two different chronological evaluations:

1. Evaluation ex-ante, which anticipates the result when being done before
the decision has been made so it can be justified.
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2. Evaluation ex-post takes place after the decision-making. Our research is
evaluation control ex-post based in order to verify how performance
objectives of IT investments are being reached.

We measure the performance of an information system by evaluating its efficacy
and its efficiency, but other scholars add other relevant elements which are
important like: Esthetic & Ethic, user`s satisfaction, transaction cost, quality,
utilisability & utility and its utilization level.

The Quinio (1997) works propose three approaches in performance evaluation
as set in the table below. The first is information value approach, which
considers the quality of the information, but the subjective character of this
method makes it too restrictive. The second approach is concerning project
evaluation which is too limited to the objectives set by the project. The third is
global performance approach, which studies the link between ICT and different
views on social, economic, systemic, software and the control panel. This last
approach is aimed to address the scientific methodological approach missing in
ICT performance evaluation. Our research is global method based;
accordingly, we do not target one technology but the ICT infrastructure and
all technology available in each public institution targeted.

Evaluating the
Lesca et Lesca,
Evaluation too subjective;
information quality
Difficult to apply;
Daft et Lengel
restrictive methodology
(1986) / 34.
Courbon (1993) /
Evaluation of the
Zardet (1986)
Difficult to apply
output of the system
regarding the Information
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regarding decision and
technology context and
action as results.
the difficulty to extricate
decisions stemmed from
those tools.

2. Evaluation Evaluate the
Peaucelle (1996) Restrictive methodology
profitability of the
Parker et Benson
concerning the project,
project (Upstream);
(1988) / 34
the financial data used and
evaluate the effective Rowe (1994 a.) /
the vision adopted on
3. Global
Study the link
Reix (1977)

performance between ICT and
Galbrecht (1979) /
different views on
social, economic,
Peters et al. (1983
systemic, software
Kaplan et Norton
and the control panel. (1992)

Table of Benjamin Demissy, 2002. Etude des impacts des NTIC sur les performances, Lyon II University

If doubt, perplexity and pessimism had affected the study of ICT impacts on
performance in early 1990`s, none can prove that ICT have no effects on
productivity. Nevertheless new research such as works of Quinio and
Brynjolfsson established convincing proofs of significant impact of ICT on
organization productivity. Nevertheless it is important to note that these impacts
whether direct or indirect are scattered and are contingent to organizational and
strategic management. Brynjolfsson (1998) concluded that the question now is
not whether technologies contribute to productivity but how to make more
computerization effective.
4.7. Impacts of ICT on public management
4.7.1 ICT impacts require organizational changes

Before we study the ICT impacts on public management, it is important to note
that any organization which aims to have ICT impacts must do more than
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investing in ICT, it requires fundamental reengineer processes. Bresnahan,
Brynjolsson and Hitt (2000) note: Firms do not simply plug in computers or
telecommunications equipment and achieve service quality or efficiency gains.
Instead they go through a process of organizational redesign and make
substantial changes to their service or output mix. The OECD (2000) found that
IT seems to offer the greater benefit when ICT investment is combined with
other organizational assets. Bartel, Ichniowski and Shaw (2005) add, Once a
business invests in new IT based production machinery and installs the
equipment on the factory floor, it will be changing the fundamental nature of what
it does and how it does it.

Though we are convinced that technologies have strong impact on
productivity and performance, we will not forget that those impacts are not
automatic but are associated with organizational changes. Experiences have
demonstrated that to ascertain actual impacts of performance by exposing an
organization to ICT, it is inevitably necessary to manage to make evolved the
behavior of the actors using the technology. In fact, during implementation
process, the actors of organization usually consider ICT as a myth. With the
availability of the ICT infrastructures and tools answering their need, their
curiosity will be sharpened to discover more and if the technology remains during
the period of time needed organizational behavior changes will be visible,
consequently there will be a social appropriation which will result in real
(performance) impacts while necessary actions should be undertook to provoke
organizational changes.
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Figure 4.2
Jane A. Fountain (2001) in her book Building the virtual state proposes an
analytical framework named enacting technology which can help us understand
better the process of ICT impacts on public institutions and why productivity and
performance impacts are not automatics. She posits that capability and potential
of an information system are enacted by the users of the system she goes on to
say that individuals and organizations enact information technology by their
interpretation, design, implementation, and use of it in their organization and
networks. This interpretation implies cognition, culture, social networks, formal
rules regimes that will shape the behavior of individuals and organization as a
result the outcomes should be indeterminate, unanticipated and multiple. Civil
servants perceive ICT as source of insecurity and distrust, because of fear to
lose power or unfamiliarity with technology. The perception of a lack of positive
impacts of ICT tools and this uncertainty causes by the use of ICT in public
organisation will constitute a serious pretext for a strong resilience to change
(Garson, 2005); the organizational changes thus are not only indeterminate and
unanticipated but also conjectural.
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Technology Enactment of Fountain

Figure 4.3 Technology Enactment: An analytical Framework (Fountain, 2002: 91)

It is indisputable that ICT have serious impacts on public management, for
example the use of network systems to interconnect organizations results in
possibility of lowering cost, using fewer resources and physical outputs which
gives rise to efficiency gains (Mechling, 2002). However those impacts are
registered in organizational level, instead of institutional level, as ICT affects
actually the key characteristics of the Weberian bureaucracy (see table #) like
production, coordination, control, and direction processes (Fountain, 2002). But
the organizational changes will not automatically turn into institutional changes,
Gasco (2003) makes it plain when stating that institutional change occurs
whenever and alteration of relative prices is perceived by one of the parties
taking part from a transaction as win-win situation for that party of for all the
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participants involved. Therefore, institutional change depends on the actors`
perceptions with respect to the gains to be obtained. Because of human
cognition, the cultural and sociostructural, the legal and formal structure changing
organizational at institutional level is a gigantesque task that requires
considerable political negotiation and deep cultural change (Fountain, 2002).
Table 4.0 Organizational changes in Weberian bureaucracy
Elements of weberian bureaucracy
Organizational changes
Functional differentiation,
Precise division of labor,
technology rather than people; organizational
Clear jurisdictional boundaries
structure based on information systems rather
than people
Hierarchy of offices and individuals
Electronic and informal communication; teams
carry out the work and make decisions
Files, written documents, staff to maintain and Digitized files in flexible form, maintained and
transmit files
transmitted electronically using sensors, bar
codes, transponders, handheld computers;
chips record, store, analyze, and transmit data;
systems staff maintain hardware, software, and
Employees are natural, impersonal, attached to Employees are cross-functional, empowered;
a particulate office
jobs limited not only by expertise but also by
the extend and sophistication of computer
Office system of general rules, standard Rules
operating procedures, performance programs
information systems; an invisible, virtual
Slow processing time due to batch processing, Rapid or real-time processing
delays, lags, multiple handoffs
Long cycles of feedback and adjustment
Constant monitoring and updating of feedback;
more rapid or real-time adjustment possible.
Source: Comparison of Weberian and virtual bureaucracies in Building the Virtual State by Jane A. Fountain,
2002: 61.
4.8. Conclusion
Undeniably technologies have strong impact on productivity and performance;
nevertheless the projected positive impact is not automatic and therefore is
associated with organizational changes. The organizational changes expected
depend on the interpretation of the civil servants who are using the ICT; this fact
makes the impacts not only indeterminate and unanticipated but also conjectural.
However the organizational changes should not expected to turn automatically
into institutional changes. In this present research we have the opportunity to
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investigate some organizational changes the use of ICT and networks
communication in public administration is occasioned and how strong it is the
resilience to change in Haitian public organizations.

© Guyverson VERNOUS School of Science and Engineering AIU ­ 2007


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