Excerpts translated from:
E-government without agitation: research instead of stirring up further Technikhypes
10th August 2010
Author: Prof. Dr. Tino Schuppan
The subject of e-Government in Germany is still very much centered on the use of individual IT applications – and with great naivete. The recent hype about the so-called Web 2.0 is a current example.
However: just because IT and Web applications are promoted worldwide, which often is not even new technology, the administration will not modernize.
Is the current “Web 2.0-cry” – when run at all – more of a “superficial modernization”, i.e. a modernization from the outside of the administration? Workers may continue the “old boot” and transformation does not occur. Or put another way: “Government 2.0 is just new house paint, although a complete renovation is necessary.” Transformation requires a change in the priority of organizational structures, adaptation or redesign of business processes, new forms of division of labor, etc…The disillusionment follows. Though often omitted [in discussion about Web 2.0], trouble is deepening around the work of management as they deal with the potential problems of the coming modernization. It’s expensive, but only this work is insightful. They have the task of being more like scientists – critical and constructive analysis, and empirically based, rather than proceed clueless to feed more hype. What is needed is an enlightened technology and application understanding, which shows the administrative practice under what conditions, what works and what does not.This is not meant to be naive “best-practice descriptions,” but enriched with contextual information and reflective “How-analysis,” but tracing the pitfalls of potential implementation. These empirical studies provide high learning potential, learning, comprehending, the implementation is possible.