Customer Orientation in E-Government: The Managers’ Perspectives

Posted: 2 Aug 2009

See all articles by Hannah Polson

Hannah Polson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Paul Theivananthampillai

University of Otago

Date Written: July 30, 2009


With the increasing focus on technology, the demand for the electronic provision of services is growing. Public sector organisations are beginning to consider whether they too should integrate technology into their operations, specifically with projects such as websites, intranets or systems for communication. This study aims to consider whether the implentation of e-government in a local public sector organisation has enabled this organisation to achieve their customer orientation in order to realise improved levels of performance.

This study provides a number of useful insights. Firstly all managers appear to understand the customer orientation of the organisation and thus the importance of a focus on the customer. There seems to be a difficulty however of implementing this customer orientation in practice. The lack of effective customer measures means managers tend to focus on internal measures. While managers perceive there to be a number of potential benefits, the majority of these tend to be related to efficiency and the achievement of outputs. For departments with low customer orientation there is not likely to be a strong link between outputs and outcomes therefore there is a potential danger that technology will divert their attention away from the customer. While e-government may result in achievement of output objectives this are not necessarily conducive to achieving the organisations overall mission.

In summary, the results of this study imply that despite the orientatation-performance link, e-government can provide benefits. These however are more likely to be related to operational efficienicy at low levels of customer orientation. In other cases, what gets measured is what gets done. For the real potential of e-government to be realised there must be a strong alignment of customer orientation and e-government. Managers must be clear as to what the overall mission is and how e-government can assist them in achieving this.

Keywords: E government, customer orientation, alignment, operational efficiency, G2C, service

JEL Classification: l16, l30

Suggested Citation

Polson, Hannah and Theivananthampillai, Paul, Customer Orientation in E-Government: The Managers’ Perspectives (July 30, 2009). Available at SSRN:

Hannah Polson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Paul Theivananthampillai (Contact Author)

University of Otago ( email )


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