Mustering Consent: Government-Sponsored Virtual Communities and the Incentives for Buy-in

Linda Wilkins, Paula M.C. Swatman, and Tanya Castleman
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 7, Number 1, Fall 2002, pp.121.

Abstract: The global trend to electronic service delivery (ESD) by governments can include the sponsorship of virtual communities that create value and become places where people, content, and communication come together around a need [4], enabling government agencies to extend their traditional service-provision role. Implementation is sometimes problematic, however, and understanding the implementation process is crucial to the success of such virtual communities.

This paper reports a case study of a virtual community (an on-line export-documentation system) that links government and business. The study employs Bijker’s framework to conceptualize the process of defining the technical standard and implementing the documentation system [2]. Diffusion effects shaped the implementation and influenced participant responses, illustrating Bijker’s argument that an artifact or product demonstrates interpretive flexibility before it stabilizes [2].

Key Words and Phrases: Diffusion effects, electronic service delivery (ESD), export documentation G2B virtual trading communities