Intelligent Information Management, 2012, 4, 212-216
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/iim.2012.45031 Published Online September 2012 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/iim)
A Cultural E-Government Readiness Model
Alia Sabri1, Omar Sabri2, Bassam Al-Shargabi3
1Faculty of Information Technology, Applied Sciences University, Amman, Jordan
2Faculty of Management Science, Isra University, Amman, Jordan
3Faculty of Information Technology, Isra University, Amman, Jordan
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Received May 3, 2012; revised June 10, 2012; accepted June 25, 2012
E-Government is defined as a system utilizing the Internet and the world-wide-web for delivering government informa-
tion and services to citizens. This system reduces the processing costs, improves service delivery, and increases trans-
parency and communication between a government and its citizens. The aim of this paper is to propose a new model to
measure the readiness of e-Government according to cultural factors. By assessing to which degree these cultural fac-
tors are present/absent in a country and which of them have a significant impact on government readiness, the govern-
ment will be able to identify their weakness and strength points, then build a preparing plan that can help them to
achieve the readiness required toward a successful implementation of the e-Government systems.
Keywords: Cultural Dimension; E-Government Readiness; E-Government Initiative; E-Governments Factors
E-Government application remain at the top of most
countries policy agendas [1,2]. The emphasis on the e-
Government may be due to the potential of ICT to trans-
form public administration to an efficient system, en-
hance public services quality, people life, establish trust
between public administration and citizens and realize
economic objectives [1,3,4]. Many governments around
the world find it very difficult to accept e-Government,
because they have to change entire governance proce-
dures . However, governments that succeeded in im-
plementing e-Government had suggested strategies to
improve their own model that is suitable for each coun-
try’s, political, economical, technological and cultural
The implementation of e-Government systems is ex-
tremely complex . To succeed in the implementation
of these systems, a preparing process is required. The
aim of this process is to achieve a readiness in a govern-
ment to be able to implement these systems effectively
and efficiently. One of the most important reasons for
success and failure of e-Government is the cultural issue
and more precisely how do citizens accept the new tech-
nology . Several studies like [9,10]; discussed the im-
portance and the relationship of technology and cultures
sectors to provide successful e-Government projects in
most countries and exploring causal factors including dif-
ferent cultures related to information and communication
technology (ICT) adoption that have been carried out.
Many studies demonstrate how culture might relate to
ICT use in many countries like Iran ; Indonesia ;
Korean Public ; Saudi Arabia ; United Kingdom
However, there are many cultural factors that affect
this process. Identifying which of these factors should be
considered in the preparing process is not an easy task,
and hence, this study intent to investigate and identify the
cultural factors that will lead the developing countries
toward a successful readiness of implementation of the
e-Government systems. By assessing to which degree
these cultural factors are present/absent in the government
and which of them have a significant effect on govern-
ment readiness, the government will be able to identify
their weakness and strength points, then build a preparing
plan that can help them achieve the readiness required
toward a successful implementation of the e-Government
This paper will be organized as the following: The
most recent and related work is presented in Section 2. In
Section 3 we present Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The
proposed cultural e-Government readiness model is in-
troduced and discussed in Section 4. Finally, a number of
conclusions are drawn and recommendations for future
work are pointed-out.
E-Government has numerous definitions vary among
people; it refers to the use by governments of ICT and
web based Internet applications and, combined with pro-
cesses that implement these technologies, to improve the
opyright © 2012 SciRes. IIM
A. SABRI ET AL. 213
access to and delivery of government information and
services to the public, other agencies, and other govern-
ment entities at all time or bring about improvements in
government operations [15,16]. This definition shows the
electronic interaction between the government, the public
and the employees. E-Government is also defined as a
way for governments to use the most innovative ICTs to
improve the quality of the services and to provide greater
opportunities to participate in democratic institutions and
processes [17,18] concentrate on the definition of e-Go-
vernment on the efficient services applied by e-Govern-
ment include the speed, the functionality, the ease of use,
and the cost of information processing. They also con-
centrate on how much the actual e-Government perfor-
mance achieves its objectives.  defines e-Govern-
ment system as a modern and an expected improvement
due to the rapid development of ICT, which has been
used in many regions, particularly business known as e-
business to improve the services provided to their custom-
ers, as well as to achieve a broader range of population.
The benefits of the use of e-Government application
are the same for both developing and developed coun-
tries . These benefits are: support good governance
, cost saving and efficiency gains , improve the
service delivery to businesses and customers , trans-
parency, anticorruption, accountability, increase capacity
and improve network infrastructure of governments, and
improve the quality of decision making .
One key to the success of government transformation
is the development of the individual’s culture . Hofs-
tede, in , defines culture as the collective program-
ming of the mind which distinguishes the members in
one human group from another. Others as in  inform
that culture is a critical variable in explaining how social
groups interact with IT, while Martinsons in  defines
culture as a collective programming of the mind that dis-
tinguishes not only societies (or nations) but also Indus-
tries, professions, and organizations.
There are many approaches to classify and test cultures.
The most and best particular classification is Hofstede’s.
His cultural dimensions values are: Power Distance (PD),
Uncertainty Avoidance (UA), Individualism (IDV), Mas-
culinity (MAS), and Long-Term Orientation (LTO) .
A theoretical framework is presented in  for the im-
pact of national culture on information and communica-
tion technology (ICT) and to test whether the national
cultural dimensions have significant impact on the ICT.
Few studies have concentrated on the impact of na-
tional cultural factors such as Hofstede’s cultural dimen-
sions as used in many researches related to e-Government
and other factors such as individual’s behavior, accep-
tance, trust, skills and engagement in the acceptance of e-
Government systems implementation as mentioned by [14,
29, 30] .
3. Cultural Factors: Hofstede’s Cultural
A few of e-Government researches concern on cultural
factors that affects on e-Government readiness and most
of them pay attention to success factors for e-Government
systems implementation. Hofstede’s approach of culture
and in particular his five dimensions are the most studied
when considering ICT adoption at a national level . In
this paper, we are interested in exploring the potential
factors of culture that influence on the readiness of e-
Government implementation. This research will be most
useful for developing countries where understanding their
cultures and their readiness to accept e-Government will
lead to a successful implementation of e-Government.
Geert Hofstede presented five cultural dimensions
(Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism,
Masculinity, and Long Term Orientation) as unique vec-
tors that make countries distinguishable [25,28,31]. His
cultural dimensions have been used and applied widely
to understand business systems and practices and across
most (if not all) of the behavioral science disciplines,
including: compensation practices; management and
marketing; advertising strategy; budget control practices;
entrepreneurial behavior; conflict resolution; workgroup
dynamics and performance; innovation; training design;
leadership styles; management control systems; partici-
pative management , and examine organizational
identification and employee turnover intentions, and to
compare stereotypes across different cultures. Hofsted’s
dimensions are described as follows :
Power Distance is related to the extent to which the
less powerful members of group accept and expect that
power is distributed unequally in a concrete society.
They implied that organization with high power distance
culture will miss the opportunity for better competence,
while Culture with low power distance opens possibilities
for expanding organization’s competence since it takes
into consideration individual and collective knowing based
on tacit knowledge.
Uncertainty Avoidance deals with a society’s ability
to solve uncertainty and ambiguity problems, the extent
to which people feel the threat of unstructured situations
and try to avoid them. They implied that organizations
with high uncertainty avoidance are characterized by low
creativity level and vice versa.
Individualism refers the degree to which individual
interests have the priority over group interests. Organiza-
tions characterized with high individualism level are con-
centrating on persuasion, while organizations character-
ized with high collectivism level are concentrating on
creating trust .
Masculinity highlights the relationship between per-
sonal and professional goals in society and defines what
society’s members prefer: goal attainment or task perfor-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. IIM
A. SABRI ET AL.
mance. A significant aspect of this dimension is task dif-
ferentiation: small in feminine societies, large in mascu-
line societies. Masculinity focuses on achievement where
as femininity focuses on quality of life.
Long-Term Orientation refers to the degree to which
a culture values its tradition and how much individuals
focus on their past and future  (Czech Republic, Slo-
vakia, Hungary, Poland) implied that high power distance,
high uncertainty avoidance, high individualism and high
masculinity define a—hard culture which is character-
ized by reducing competence. On the other hand low
power distance, low uncertainty avoidance, low indivi-
dualism and femininity form—soft culture which in-
creases the chance of competence.
We can expect that long-term oriented cultures will
perceive greater long-term benefits associated with the
internet. Van Everdingen in  reported that long-term
orientation had a significant positive impact on the adop-
tion of an IT-based innovation.
4. The Proposed Cultural E-Government
In this paper, the researchers selected ten factors that lead
to a readiness of e-Government systems implementation.
The selection of these ten factors was based on two main
criteria: 1) their importance and occurrence in many lite-
ratures by many authors; and 2) their fitness to the nature
of this study. Furthermore, the researchers classify these
factors into three areas (government, people, and agency).
Figure 1 illustrates the proposed cultural e-Government
It seems to the authors that one dimension may affect
on the readiness of e-Government implantation is people
culture. Where, the culture will take into consideration
the classification of Hofsted’s national level of culture.
We also add another important cultural factor which is
trust. As stated in , citizen trust in government and
Figure 1. The proposed cultural e-Government readiness
technology is very important to the wide-spread accep-
tance of e-Government. Trust in e-Government is there-
fore composed of the traditional view of trust in a spe-
cific entity (trust of government) as well as trust in the
reliability of the enabling technology (trust of the Inter-
net) . Another important dimension is the agency
culture as mentioned in , culture distinguishes orga-
nizations. We proposed two factors: decentralization and
structure. For decentralization: the best way to enhance
productivity is by allowing worker involvement into de-
veloping the mission statement, establishing policies and
procedures, etc. . It also enhances liability and mon-
itoring of government officials and decision-makers. In
 the authors stated that the degree of decentralization
is positively related to educational attainment. Therefore,
we expect that increasing the training and education fac-
tor will positively increase the decentralization factor.
On the other hand, the structure factor is considered
here as a cultural factor of the public agencies and the
managers themselves. In certain it is the same as the un-
certainty avoidance but regarding to the leaders and ma-
nagers, how do they react towards ambiguity and un-
structured situations. In  found that in culture of high
uncertainty avoidance Managers do not tend to take risks
in decision making and responsibility, they are oriented
to details, search for rules and instructions, and take de-
tailed predetermined agreements. The third dimension is
the government culture. We proposed two factors: Social
Cultural Practices, and Training and Education, in  the
authors stated that previous experience with governments
has a major role in building trust. People suspicion about
the government will be dissolved if the government treats
all people fairly and lawfully. Also in  stated that e-
Government acceptance increases in countries where the
level of education is high. As education level rises, so
does usage of e-Government .
It can be concluded from this review of literature that,
government, people and agencies cultural factors are
more important than technological factors to implement
e-Government systems successfully. This is because the
culture of accepting new technology (e.g. lack of aware-
ness, trust, uncertainty avoidance, etc.) is a critical issue
that affects the success or failure of e-Government pro-
ject. In addition, since the role of cultural values is em-
phasis to the internal and external characteristics of or-
ganization, it is important to study how these characteris-
tics may effect on the implementation of e-Government.
In this paper, we proposed a model of the readiness of
e-Government from cultural perspective. The basic build-
ing blocks of cultural e-Government readiness model are:
government, people, and agencies. We selected ten cul-
tural factors for each block depending on: 1) their im-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. IIM
A. SABRI ET AL. 215
portance and occurrence in many literatures by many
authors; and 2) their fitness to the nature of this study.
By building the proposed e-Government readiness
cultural model, each government who wishes to imple-
ment an e-Government initiative can use this model as a
guideline to evaluate to which degree these cultural fac-
tors are present/absent in the government and which of
them have a significant effect on government readiness.
The government will be able to identify their weakness
and strength point, and then build a preparing plan that
can help them achieve the readiness required toward a
successful implementation of the e-Government systems.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the
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