Journal of Chinese Political Science

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 625–649 | Cite as

Exploring the Sustainability of E-government Innovation in China: a Comparative Case Study on 22 Prefectural-level Cities’ Websites

RESEARCH ARTICLE

Abstract

Chinese central government has embraced the internet as a new channel for public service provision and has encouraged local authorities to innovate in this field. However, when the progress over the last decade is considered — as seen through the scores in annual benchmarking of local government websites — innovation appears very hard to sustain. Most localities experience a decline at some point in time. It is a conundrum why and how some cities can continuously enhance their online presence, while the majority experiences decreasing scores at some point. The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that influence the sustainability of e-government innovation by Chinese local governments. In this paper, we apply an exploratory case study design. We analyse both qualitative data and quantitative indicators of 22 prefectural-level cities to identify drivers and constraints on sustainable innovation. Among the key findings are that user focus, long-term planning, and an organizational culture based on political control promote sustainability.Provincial-level governments, in contrast, appear to have little impact on the continued performance of the municipalgovernment websites. These findings are summarized in the conclusion along with suggestions for further research.

Keywords

Policy innovation Local-government websites E-government China Comparative case study 

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Copyright information

© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public AdministrationSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)BerlinGermany

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