Bridging the gaps between e-government practice and research: A meta-study for policy development

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Purpose – This study aims to map the dynamics of e-government rhetoric through a discourse analysis. The discussion and understanding is based on an identification and interpretation of emerging concepts in e-government reports and research journals. The goal is to unveil established concepts that influence e-government policy development in the public administration context.

Design/methodology/approach – Institutional discourse and a policy cycle model are initially selected to guide an inter-textual meta-analysis and meta-synthesis of relevant e-government and public administration outlets. Key concepts are analysed based on their frequency in order of appearance and proximity to each-other. Themes emerging from concept-ideas feed-back to the theory by helping us to suggest a new e-government policy development framework informed by practice and research domains.

Findings – The findings suggest that although a number of concept-ideas are being institutionalized in the field of e-government, there are persisting differences and discourses between public administration and e-government reports and journals. Most of the conceptual gaps identified by this study are related to emerging issues like e-government evaluation, engagement with end-users and connection gaps between policy, practice and research.

Originality/value – This study advances the use of discursive institutionalism in e-government research by suggesting that concepts and ideas are institutionalized not only through discourse assimilation, but also by attracting and being able to keep other concept-ideas closely related into themes. Different policy development paths identified in e-government practice and research domains should be jointly considered by policy makers, managers and researchers to improve their implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-84
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2014


  • E-government
  • Research
  • Discourse Analysis
  • institutional theory
  • meta-analysis

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