Does E-Government Measure Up to E-Business? Comparing End User Perceptions of U.S. Federal Government and E-Business Web Sites


Forrest V. Morgeson III is a research scientist with the National Quality Research Center at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He is a member of the research team responsible for the American Customer Satisfaction Index study, and has recently published or has work forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing and the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Sunil Mithas is an assistant professor in the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His research, which focuses on strategic management and the impact of information technology resources, has appeared in Management Science, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, the Journal of Marketing, Production and Operations Management, the Journal of Management Information Systems, and Statistical Science.


This paper examines the federal government's success in implementing and providing high-quality service through e-government, something that has received very little attention. We define quality from the perspective of the end users of federal agency Web sites, as measured through customer survey data. Using data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, we compare the performance of federal agency Web sites across a range of relevant variables with a private sector equivalent, e-business Web sites. Our findings suggest that federal e-government Web sites are not yet, in the aggregate, providing the same level of quality as their e-business counterparts. We also find significant variability among federal agencies. We discuss the implications of these findings for e-government performance measurement, performance benchmarking, and the market-centered theories of administrative reform that are driving e-government and similar transformations of government practice.