The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Article

Bringing Light into the Shadows: A Qualitative Interview Study on Citizens’ Non‑Adoption of e‑Government  pp98-105

Bettina Distel

© Oct 2018 Volume 16 Issue 2, Editor: Dr Carl Erik Moe, pp87 - 186

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Despite the growing availability of e‑government services, citizens are still reluctant to use them. Prior research has mostly focused on investigating reasons for e‑government use. Why individuals refrain from using these services seems to be of less scientific interest. The present study sets out to reveal what barriers to e‑government adoption citizens perceive. A qualitative and explorative interview study was conducted with 18 citizens in Germany to better understand how citizens perceive e‑government and what keeps them from using it. The study yields twelve different barriers to e‑government adoption among which no need to use/rare usage of public services, no personal counsellor, and perceptions of convenience are the most important. The results suggest that the characteristics of the services themselves are highly influential for the decision to not use e‑government. In contrast, technological shortcomings like data security or a lack of usability only play a subordinate role.


Keywords: Adoption, non-adoption, channel choice, citizens, Germany, qualitative research


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Journal Issue

Volume 16 Issue 2 / Oct 2018  pp87‑186

Editor: Dr Carl Erik Moe

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Keywords: task characteristics, business intelligence success, public sector, quantitative research, Adoption, non-adoption, channel choice, citizens, Germany, qualitative research, multichannel management, citizen multichannel behavior, action research, collaboration; caseworkers, Udbetaling Danmark, Public-private partnership, outsourcing, Rule of law, e-government, Digital Government, the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman, Administrative law by design, digitalisation, administrative law, good administrative impact assessment, , crisis management, leadership, information management, situational awareness, crisis response, crisis management system


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