Advancing E-Government at the Grassroots: Tortoise or Hare?


  • Donald F. Norris,

    1. Donald F. Norris is the director of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research and a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He specializes in urban politics, public management, and information technology in public organizations. He holds a doctorate from the University of Virginia. His publications have appeared in a number of journals in the United States and abroad. He is also the coeditor in chief of the International Journal of Electronic Government Research. Email:
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  • M. Jae Moon

    1. M. Jae Moon is currently teaching at the Department of Public Administration at Korea University. His teaching and research interests include e-government, public management, and public administration theory. His research has appeared in various journals in public administration and policy, including Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Administration and Society, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Public Performance and Management Review among others. E-mail:
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American grassroots governments have rushed to join the e-government revolution. Although there is a growing body of e-government literature, little of it is empirical. Using data from two nationwide surveys, we conduct a longitudinal examination of local government adoption of e-government, Web site sophistication, the perceived impacts of e-government, and barriers to the adoption and sophistication of e-government. We also discuss correlates of e-government adoption and sophistication with selected institutional factors. We find that e-government adoption at the grassroots is progressing rapidly (if measured solely by deployment of Web sites). However, the movement toward integrated and transactional e-government is progressing much more slowly. Continuing research, particularly longitudinal study, is needed to monitor the evolution of e-government among U.S. local governments, especially to keep pace with the practice and to ascertain the actual impacts of e-government.