Helio, I am not saying that culture should be ignored. All that I am saying is that culture is a very easy explanation when there are more complex factors at stake. As to the Brazilian case for instance, I believe that institutions and organisations are much better predictors of success or failure (of e-gov initiatives) than cultural issues.
Culture might well have an influence on the way technologies are enacted, but it is unlikely to be able to explain a phenomenon by itself. Other factors need to be taken into account. In Brazil, for instance, it is pretty common to have states or municipalities with pretty much the same culture but with a colossal difference between them when it comes to their e-government services.
Another problem of a culturalist approach is: if culture is the problem, how do you change it? Personally, I prefer to create a system of incentives – material or immaterial – for the adoption of e-government rather than trying to change the culture of the environment. When I pay my taxes online I am not building a relationship, I am trying to save time and money.
In other words, in my opinion culture might be important, but it is far from being the determinant factor.
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