Perceptions of information system success in the public sector: Webmasters at the steering wheel?
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Sørum, H., Medaglia, R., Andersen, K., Scott, M., and DeLone, W. (2012) 'Perceptions of information system success in the public sector: Webmasters at the steering wheel?'. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 6 (3):239-257.
Purpose - This study explores the relationships between constructs of Information System (IS) success in the public sector, as perceived by webmaster intermediaries, and investigates how user testing affects these relationships. Design/methodology/approach - Questionnaire, online survey with webmasters in Denmark and Norway that participated in the public sector web award contests organized by the government. N=1,237, n=541 (response rate 40%). Findings - The frequency with which webmasters carry out user testing affects their perceptions of IS success, with those who conduct no user testing displaying the weakest associations among success variables. Findings also suggest that webmasters who do little or no user testing conveniently assume that citizen users are satisfied, while webmasters that are more knowledgeable of the user experience have a greater perception of levels of success. Research limitations/implications - There is a need for supplementing the study with longitudinal data. Secondly, more research could be done on the explanatory variables behind one of the main findings of this study: webmasters who know their users tend not to see a correlation between website quality and user satisfaction. Lastly, there is a need to focus on the difference in significant associations between IS quality, user satisfaction and net benefits, and whether and how unique features of public organizations impact perceptions of success. Practical implications - The fact that the majority of webmasters do not perform any type of user testing triggers a reflection on the need for such important intermediaries to enhance 2 their feedback channels. User involvement in assessing IS success cannot be overlooked, especially considering that user empowerment in the design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems matches a window of opportunity originating in the ongoing growth of web interactivity. Originality/value - This study is one of the few that investigates constructs of IS success in the public sector, and arguably the first one that focuses on the impacts of user testing on the relationships between constructs of IS success in a public setting.
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