Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Usage of E-Governance Applications by Higher Education Students

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Usage of E-Governance Applications by Higher Education Students

Article excerpt

This study focuses on the factors affecting the Internet usage of university students using electronic governance applications. It aims at understanding why participation is not increasing as expected while ICT usage is improving in the governance processes. This problem is considered in terms of the factors affecting the Internet usage of university students using electronic governance applications. These factors are mainly related to the factors that are concerned with the Internet usage rather than socio-economic features of university students. In general, socio-economic features, such as gender, age, and income, are important factors but in the university's case, these conditions are more or less equalized. Electronic governance (e-governance) applications are related to both the usage of technology and citizen participation in politics. "Electronic" indicates the technological capacities of our age and "governance" is a new perspective in government paradigm. Innovations in both technology and perspective create new understandings for governing such as " governing with people." In public administration theory, this aspect is called governance, and it aims at transforming the governing processes to be more effective and legitimate and the structures and processes more democratic by using interactive communication tools. This aim is closely related to the communication capacities of actors who are in the political, social, and economic networks and their potential to access information and services. These capacities show the extent, velocity, efficiency, and reciprocity of actors in the communication process. The Internet has the capacity to improve interactive communication processes among people, organizations, or institutions at different levels. It can also help in the collection of information about social, economic, and political issues. Therefore, governing with people using Internet technologies is called e-governance.

Governance requires a bottom-up participation flow in the governing process since citizens became the main actors using e-governance applications. Citizens are needed for accountability and they are supposed to be planners, practitioners, and users of e-governance applications. Researches about e-governance have primarily focused on the capacities of information and service delivery of governments, organizations, or institutions and their capacities to realize the citizens' participation (Fan, 2011; Melitski, Carrizales, Manoharan, & Holzer, 2011; West, 2004). The main topic in these studies is related to the questions, "Which level of institutions can achieve interaction with citizens?" and "Do they provide adequate tools or channels contacting and interacting with citizens?" Briefly, most of these works focus on the Internet usage and the online service capacities of institutions and organizations. They analyze websites of government agencies, institutions, or organizations. However, in terms of the interactive understanding of the governing process, citizens' Internet usage in governing processes is as important as Internet usage capacities of organizations or governments. In the literature, limited work has focused on citizens' Internet usage tendencies, factors, and relations affecting citizens' Internet usage in e-governance applications. Explanations provided by Reddick and Turner (2012, p. 1) support the claim that "there is no empirical research that examines satisfaction with contact channels, and a few public opinion surveys have been analyzed examining citizens and their reactions to e-government." This attention underlines the gap of citizen-centric perspectives in research. It also emphasizes that most studies related to e-governance are concerned with the supply-side of interaction process (Reddick & Turner, 2012, p. 1). In addition, studies about e-governance indicate that most studies focused on the experiences in the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union countries. …

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