Abstract for: Using Institutional Theory and Dynamic Simulation to Understand Complex E-Government Phenomena

Governments around the world have developed e-government programs hoping to obtain important benefits. However, many e-government projects fail to deliver their promises. Some of such failures are the result of a lack of understanding about the relationships among technologies, information use, organizational factors, institutional arrangements, and socio-economic contexts involved in the selection, implementation, and use of information and communication technologies (ICT), producing mismatches and unintended consequences. The paper proposes the use of institutional theory and dynamic simulation, particularly System Dynamics, as an integrated and comprehensive approach to understand e-government phenomena. The paper draws on the case of the e-Mexico program, particularly in the strategy to create web-based content to the citizen in the areas of education, health, economy and government. Using the same technological infrastructure and under the leadership of the same Federal Ministry, four different networks of government and non-government organizations engaged in the creation of Internet portals to create relevant content in these areas. Differences in institutional arrangements and organizational factors resulted on different technology enactments.