Digitalization and Effective Government: What Is the Cause and What Is the Effect?

  • Elena DobrolyubovaEmail author
  • Elena Klochkova
  • Oleg Alexandrov
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1038)


Government digitalization is becoming a mainstream of governance reforms with high expectations in terms of improving public value delivered by governments, raising both efficiency and effectiveness of public administration. Based on cross-country data, this paper presents a quantitative analysis of correlation between government digitalization on the one hand (based on UN E-government and E-participation indices and OECD statistics) and quality of public administration (measured by the WB’s governance indicators, Doing Business and WEF data) on the other. The results suggest that while there is statistically significant positive correlation between government digitalization and public administration performance, this relationship is stronger for government effectiveness, control of corruption, and doing business and weaker for e-participation, voice and accountability and efficiency of public spending. The findings suggest that there is direct cause and effect relationship between e-government development index and Doing Business measures. At the same time, surprisingly no direct cause and effect relationship was found between government digitalization and other governance indicators included in this study, such as government effectiveness and control of corruption. Thus, the benefits of businesses from government digitalization so far seem to be more evident than the gains of other beneficiaries. The paper concludes with analysis of some policy implications and recommendations on the directions of further research.


Causality Correlation Digitalization Government Governance indicators E-government development index Effectiveness Efficiency Performance Public administration 


  1. 1.
    Bannister, F., Connolly, R.: ICT, public values and transformative government: a framework and programme for research. Gov. Inform. Q. 31(1), 119–128 (2014). Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bersch, K., Botero, S.: Measuring governance: implications of conceptual choices. Eur. J. Dev. Res. 26(1), 124–141 (2014). Scholar
  3. 3.
    Burov, V., Petrov, M., Shklyaruk, M., Sharov, A.: Gosudarstvo kak-platforma: podhod k realizacii vysokotekhnologichnoj sistemy gosudarstvennogo upravleniya [Government as a platform: approach to implementing high tech system of public administration]. Gosudarstvennaya sluzhba 20(3), 6–17 (2018). (in Russian)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dobrolyubova, E., Alexandrov, O.: E-government in Russia: meeting growing demand in the era of budget constraints. In: Chugunov, A.V., Bolgov, R., Kabanov, Y., Kampis, G., Wimmer, M. (eds.) DTGS 2016. CCIS, vol. 674, pp. 247–257. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dobrolyubova, E., Alexandrov, O., Yefremov, A.: Is Russia ready for digital transformation? In: Alexandrov, D.A., Boukhanovsky, A.V., Chugunov, A.V., Kabanov, Y., Koltsova, O. (eds.) DTGS 2017. CCIS, vol. 745, pp. 431–444. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  6. 6.
    Durkiewicz, J., Janowski, T.: Is digitalization improving governance quality? Correlating analog and digital benchmarks. In: Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Digital Government ECDG 2018, pp. 48–56. Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited (2018)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Garcia-Murillo, M.: Does a government web presence reduce perceptions of corruption? Inform. Technol. Dev. 19(2), 151–175 (2013). Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gartner: 5 Levels of Digital Government Maturity, 6 November 2017. Accessed 15 Dec 2018
  9. 9.
    Girish, J., Gulati, J., Williams, C.B., Yates, D.J.: Predictors of on-line services and e-participation: a cross-national comparison. Gov. Inform. Q. 31(4), 526–533 (2014). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heidelberg, C.A.: Citizens, not consumers. In: Weerakkody, V., Janssen, M., Dwivedi, Y. (eds.) Handbook of Research on ICT-Enabled Transformational Government: A Global Perspective. IGI Global (2009).
  11. 11.
    Huque, A., Patamawadee, J.: The challenge of assessing governance in Asian states: Hong Kong in the Worldwide governance indicators ranking. Asian J. Polit. Sci. 26, 1–16 (2018). Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ivančić, L., Vuksic, V., Vugec, Dalia, S.: A preliminary literature review of digital transformation case studies. In: ICMIT 2018: 20th International Conference on Managing Information Technology, vol. 12, no. 9, pp. 737–742 (2018)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Janssen, M., Estevez, E.: Lean government and platform-based governance-doing more with less. Gov. Inform. Q. 30, 1–8 (2013). Scholar
  14. 14.
    Krishnan, S., Teo, T., Lim, V.: Examining the relationships among e-government maturity, corruption, economic prosperity and environmental degradation: a cross-country analysis. Inf. Manag. 50(8), 638–649 (2013). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kossow, N.: Digitising the Anti-corruption sphere: taking stock and looking ahead (2018). Accessed 08 Feb 2019
  16. 16.
    Lindgren, I., van Veenstra, A.F.: Digital government transformation: a case illustrating public e-service development as part of public sector transformation. In: DGO 2018 Proceedings of the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (2018).
  17. 17.
    Máchová, R., Lněnička, M.: Reframing E-government development indices with respect to new trends in ICT. Rev. Econ. Perspect. 15(4), 383–412 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Makowski, G.: From weber to the Web… can ICT reduce bureaucratic corruption? In: Paulin, A.A., Anthopoulos, L.G., Reddick, C.G. (eds.) Beyond Bureaucracy. PAIT, vol. 25, pp. 291–312. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  19. 19.
    Margetts, H., Dunleavy, P.: The second wave of digital-era governance: a quasi-paradigm for government on the Web. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. 371(1987) (2013). Scholar
  20. 20.
    Martin, A.: Digital literacy and the “digital society”. Digit. Literacies Concepts Policies Pract. 30, 151–176 (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mkude, C.G., Wimmer, M.A.: Strategic aspects for successful E-government systems design: insights from a survey in Germany. In: Janssen, M., Scholl, H.J., Wimmer, M.A., Bannister, F. (eds.) EGOV 2014. LNCS, vol. 8653, pp. 301–312. Springer, Heidelberg (2014). Scholar
  22. 22.
    Müller, S., Abildgaard Skau, S.: Success factors influencing implementation of e-government at different stages of maturity: a literature review. Int. J. Electron. Gov. 7, 136 (2015)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    National Audit Office: Digital transformation in government (2017). Accessed 08 Feb 2019
  24. 24.
    OECD Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies (2014). Accessed 08 Feb 2019
  25. 25.
    OECD Government at a Glance 2017. Accessed 08 Feb 2019
  26. 26.
    O’Reilly, T.: Government as a Platform. Innov. Technol. Gov. Glob. 6(1), 13–40 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Reis, J., Amorim, M., Melão, N., Matos, P.: Digital transformation: a literature review and guidelines for future research. In: Rocha, Á., Adeli, H., Reis, L.P., Costanzo, S. (eds.) WorldCIST’18 2018. AISC, vol. 745, pp. 411–421. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  28. 28.
    Shounak, P.: Where can we improve? A cross-country comparison of factors affecting eGovernment success (2016). or Assessed 08 Feb 2019
  29. 29.
    Srivastava, S., Thompson, T.: E-government payoffs: evidence from cross-country data. JGIM 15, 20–40 (2007)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Starke, C., Naab, T.K., Scherer, H.: Free to expose corruption: The impact of media freedom, internet access and governmental online service delivery on corruption. Int. J. Commun. 10, 4702–4722 (2016)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Stier, S.: Political determinants of e-government performance revisited: Comparing democracies and autocracies. Gov. Inf. Q. 32(3), 270–278 (2015). Scholar
  32. 32.
    Thomas, M.: Eur. J. Dev. Res. 22, 31 (2010). Scholar
  33. 33.
  34. 34.
    Westerman, G., Calmé, J.C., Bonnet, D., Ferraris, P., McAfee, A.: Digital Transformation: A Roadmap For Billion-Dollar Organizations, pp. 1–68. MIT Sloan Management, MIT Center for Digital Business and Capgemini Consulting (2011)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    World Bank: Digital Dividends. World Development Report (2016) Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  36. 36.
    World Bank: Worldwide Government Indicators (2018). Accessed 30 Jan 2019
  37. 37.
    World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018. Accessed 30 Jan 2019

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Plekhanov Russian University of EconomicsMoscowRussia
  3. 3.CEFC GroupMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations