A FORMAL MODEL OF E-GOVERNMENT SUCCESS FACTORS FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: Dynamic relationships of software maintenance and information systems staff management
This research formally models e-government success factor relationships with particular reference to developing countries. Much existing research assumes the success factors are mutually independent or in one-way linear dependency. This understanding could hinder the achievement of a successful e-government system – that is, a sustainable system. It is critical for developing countries to ensure that implemented e-government systems can be sustained.
This research employs a system thinking approach which is implemented using system decomposition and System Dynamics methods. Acknowledging the broad and complex nature of the success factors and adopting a point of view that the success factor is a system, the system decomposition method organises the success factors system into a manageable number of subsystems, each of which is further decomposed into sub-subsystems. This decomposition method enables the researcher to focus on a (set of) sub-subsystem(s) while at the same time adopt a holistic view. The System Dynamics method is applied to model the detail and dynamic relationships of the success factors within and between selected sub-subsystems. From within two important sub-subsystems, software maintenance and information systems staff management, the success factors relationships and its dynamic nature are modelled using this method. The relationships between the success factors are derived from the existing literature. A case study data collected from a successful e-government system in Indonesia and some necessary System Dynamic processes are used to validate the model – that is, to build soundness and confident usage of the model.
The developed model captures the complexity of the relationships between elements and processes of the software maintenance, the expectancy theory variables, and the competence and availability of the information systems staff. It provides an explicit perspective on the dynamic feedback relationships between these factors and e-government success. For this model, e-government success is operationalised as a high level of e-government software availability over time.
Through the model, this research results in an improvement of insight into the explicit mechanism of success factors, within software maintenance and information systems staff management, influencing e-government success and assists decision-makers to implement decisive policies for achieving sustainable system services delivery. Simulation of the model, for example, shows that the ability of the e-government system of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture to achieve success is because of its ability to provide a sufficient level of rewards. These rewards dynamically influence staff effort and availability levels which in turn affect recurrent faults of software maintenance. These faults then influence the level of software availability over time which in turn affects rewards.
Opportunities for future research include linking the model with systems development, funding, change management and users’ feedback, and incorporating hardware and computer networks.