iBusiness, 2013, 5, 26-29
http: //dx.doi.org/10.4236/ib.201 3.53B006 Published Online September 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ib)
A Public Value Based Framework for Evaluating the
Performance of e-Government in China
Wenlin Bai1,2
1Key Laboratory of Data Engineering and Knowledge Engineering of the Ministry of Education, Renmin University of China, Bei-
jing, China; 2School of Information Resources Management, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China.
Email: wenlin-bai@163.com
Received May, 2013
Much research has been done on evaluating the performance of e-government in China, but comprehensive pictures of
research done on evaluation of performance of e-government can hardly be found in the Chinese literature. Besides,
there are few theories to support the research and practice in evaluation. By analyzin g existed literature, the paper pro-
poses a conceptual framework for evaluating performance of e-government based on public value perspective. Delivery
of public services, effectiveness of public organization and development of trust are identified and selected as three ba-
sic public values for analysis.
Keywords: Evaluation of Performance of e-Government; Public Value; Conceptual Framework; China
1. Introduction
“Electronic Government” (or in short “e-Government”)
essentially refers to ‘The utilization of IT, ICTs, and oth-
er web-based telecommunication technologies to im-
prove and enhance on the efficiency and effectiveness of
service delivery in the public sector.’ (Jeong, 2007)[1].
With the development of information and communica-
tion technologies (or in short ICT), the concept of elec-
tronic government becomes more and more popular all
over the world. In the background of information and
knowledge economy, the construction of E-government
has become a necessity [2-3]. However, with the constant
pressure of investment on e-government, evaluating the
performance of e-government becomes urgent. To the
government, it has provided an effective way to reduce
the operating costs for government and at the same time,
to enhance the administrative ability of government [4].
To the citizens, evaluation of performance of e-govern-
ment has provided an opportunity for citizen to partici-
pate in the e-government services and to increase the
availability of government information and to improve
their public services which will be beneficial to meet the
citizens’ needs [5,6].
Many e-government projects and research have been
done in China, however, e-government performance re-
search in China are either from the perspective of gov-
ernment agencies or from the perspective of citizens, no
convergence of both as an integrated whole and lacks of
theoretical support. This paper recommends adoption of
concept of public value as theoretical support to the
evaluation. In this paper, the concept of public value re-
fers to a holistic approach to evaluate the effectiveness
and efficiency of public services (Moore, 1995)[7].
Firstly, this paper has reviewed representative Chinese
and English literature on “evaluation of performance of
e-government” from CSSCI, ProQuest database, EI, SCI,
SSCI, ISTP, ISSHP citied journals. Representative theo ry,
strategies practices have been selected for study. Then
based on literature review and meta-synthesis, a new
conceptual framework for evaluation of e-government
performance is put up.
2. Literature Review
Literature shows there is little research on evaluation of
performance of e-government under the perspective of
public value in Chinese literature. However, the concept
of public value has been aroused much attention and has
been widely used in the designing of framework for
e-government performance evaluation in English litera-
ture. Figure 1 shows an overview of five representative
The five representative papers all share same concept
of public value, but each has different advantages and
limitations. The first paper focuses on high quality of
services, outcomes and trust with limitations on trust not
fully discussed. (Keams, 2004)[8].The second paper fo-
cuses on the operating efficiency of government, the
publicity and transparency of public agencies, the public
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
A Public Value Based Framework for Evaluating the Performance of e-Government in China 27
percep- tion on public service politics and user. It has
limitations on not enough attention to the impact of
e-government on information society (E-GEP, 2006)[9].
The third paper focuses on the public value created by
portals of Russiagovernment, but limitations are that the
portals cannot represent the whole e-government per-
formance (Golubeva, 2007)[10]. The fourth paper fo-
cuses on aspects of service, outcomes and trust, but
“trust” is also not fully discussed, which are similar to
the drawbacks of the first paper Heeks, 2008)[11]. The
fifth paper focuses Nan integrated frame workc onsists of
multiple aspects of public value, including delivery of
public services, achievement of outcomes, development
of trust and effectiveness of public organization as shown
in Figure 2. The framework was justified in Sri Lanka, it
has both practical and theoretical significance for
e-government performance evaluation. Each of the abov e
approach provides different concerns on what consists of
public value. Deng’s view on public values is the most
comprehensive one, but the justification based on Sri
Lanka is limited by the country’s experience, whether it
can be applied t o China need to be verified [12-16].
Taking prons and cons of the five representative per-
spectives into consideration, they have providedfollow-
ing implications to the formulation a conceptual frame-
work for China:
Firstly, evaluation perspective should be comprehen-
sive, from both government agencies and citizens sides,
rom government side, quality of public service and effi-
ciency should be focused on [17]. From the citizens’ side,
satisfaction and the attitude towards e-government should
be clearly defined.
Secondly, evaluation indicators should be comprehen-
sive[18]; various views on what consists of public value
from five representative papers could be a good reference,
particularly Professor Deng’s comprehensive framework.
Thirdly, the framework should be based on Chinese
practice and goals of e-government in China.
3. A Conceptual Framework for China
Taking the above implications into consideration, this
paper proposes an adaption of Hepu Deng’s conceptual
framework for China, as shown in Figure 3:
Figure 1. An overview of the evolution of performance of
e-government under public value perspective.
The proposed framework as shown in Figure 4, in-
cluding (A) delivery of public services (B) effectiveness
of public organization(C) development of trust. Each
public value creation part also consists of several subor-
dinate elements which can con cretely evaluate the public
value, as shown in Table 1. These key subordinate ele-
ments are from the existed frameworks of other scholars,
taking the above implications into consideration for se-
Figure 2. Conceptual framework for evaluating public
value of e-government (Deng, 2011).
Figure 3. The public value-based framework for evaluating
the performance of e-government.
Figure 4. Indicators associated with the attributes of the
conceptual framework.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
A Public Value Based Framework for Evaluating the Performance of e-Government in China
Table 1. Origin indicators for the public value-based frame-
work for evaluating the performance of e-government[19].
The delivery of public services has six attributes: (A1)
service availability (A2) importance (A3) choice (A4)
fairness (A5) cost savings(A6) citizens’ satisfaction.
These attributions are inherited from Kearns (2004) and
Heeks (2008)’s perspectives on public service, at the
same time, adding availability and importance of informa-
tion toavail- ability an d imp orta nce o f pu blic servic e, a s a
result, the wholeness of performance of e-government
would be better viewed. Furthermore, compared to
Deng’s description on “cost saving”, the “cost” in new
framework not only means the cost saving made by pub-
lic, but also include the cost saving made by government
Effectiveness of public organization has three attrib-
utes, (B1) efficiency (B2) citizens’ perceptions (B3) in-
teractive communication. Firstly, concept of “efficiency”
is adopted from the explanation of Moore1995in
which the efficiency of organization was discussed. Sec-
ondly, “interactive communication” is learned from the
explanation of “accountability” in the framework on
economic assessment of e-government of e-GEP2006,
which emphasizes the interactive communication be-
tween the public and government. Thirdly, the “citizens’
perception” is from indicators of positive and negative
effects made by government agency to the public, which
focuses on the promotion of organization driven by e-
government from the perspective of the public from
Deng’s paper.
Development of trust has four attributes: (C1) security
and privacy (C2) transparency (C3) trust (C4) participa-
tion. What should be mentioned here is that the attribu-
tion “transparency” is integrated with the thought of
government affairs openness, which will be one of the
direct indicators for assessing the performance of e-gov-
In this framework, both government agencies and citi-
zens’ perceptions have been taken into consideration, and
the multiple dimensions and attributes of public value
and their possible use in China have been fully taken into
consideration, adaptable to overall situation of e-gov-
ernment practice in China.
4. Conclusions
Evaluation of performance of e-government is a com-
prehensive adaptive system, which should consist of both
government and citizen actions and their feedbacks for
continual improvement. To overcome the separated and
isolated evaluation studies and practices in China, this
paper recommends a holistic view of public value to
formulate a comprehensive framework for evaluating the
performance of e-government. This paper is limited to
conceptual framework formulation based on literature
review; justification study done by surveys will be dis-
cussed in another paper.
5. Acknowledgements
This work is partly supported by China-US Fulbright
Research Program for Xiaomi An.
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