Electronic Markets and Electronic Governments

Lawrence A. West, Jr.
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 2, Number 2, Winter 1997, pp. 5.

Abstract: Information technology (IT) has been able to transform the way many business transactions are organized. Mergers, acquisitions, outsourcing, and divestitures are all well-known changes that have resulted from the ability of IT to change the way organizations monitor and coordinate activities. This paper investigates actual and potential changes at the interface between the private and public sectors due to the introduction of IT. Governments, finding themselves with commercially valuable stores of data and software, are beginning to exhibit entrepreneurial characteristics. In other cases, the introduction of IT has created pressures for the privatization of activities previously operated by governments. The introduction of IT has the potential to change the way citizens participate in governments at all levels. This paper surveys these issues and identifies the pressures that would, in the absence of constraints, lead to the conduct of activities in the private or public sector. Finally, the paper examines factors that impede the natural progression toward more desirable organizational forms through the application of IT.

Key Words and Phrases
: government, public sector.