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Global Gov 2.0 - Achtung: Stop the Hype! (Germany)

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.

For what good is abstract or potential, if it is not considered in light of management reality or meeting the associated problems.

It is undoubtedly attractive to provide global rhetorical questions, e.g.whether to have survived the principles of bureaucratic management structure as defined by Max Weber, than to take the trouble of detailed research and analysis.

An empirically based and unagitated E-Government Research project, which deals increasingly with the issue of implementation in recent years and millions of sunken e-government projects, is urgently needed. Such research can contribute to the implementation in practice in the future and enable us to be better able to deliver on our promises. It shows where the problems lie in the management of e-government among the various levels and stakeholders, and where conditions for success can be found.


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