Vertical differentiation and de-differentiation in electronic government initiatives: understanding the Puebla state web portal from a niklas luhmann's perspective
In order to achieve success, e-government projects have to face numerous challenges. Some of these challenges are related to tensions between government operations and political decisions pushed by external actors. Government information technology initiatives can be the scenario of these tensions. In this paper, we use three theoretical propositions derived from Luhmann's framework to start developing what could be called an e-government social systems approach: (1) what has been conceived as the politics/administration relationship is, in fact, a vertical differentiation and integration of systemic levels in government; (2) change is understood as a symbolic medium of obtaining for the political system; and (3) information technologies, specifically Internet portals, can be used like a way to represent and communicate change, particularly political change. Using the government state portal of Puebla in Mexico as an example, we illustrate the role of information technologies in a developing country during a governor's change.
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