THE EFFECT OF INTERNET CULTURE ON ADMINISTRATIVE EFFICIENCY
Background to the study
The analysis of administrative efficiency is about the relationships between inputs, outputs and outcomes. In 1957, Farrell already investigated the question how to measure efficiency and highlighted its relevance for economic policy makers. "It is important to know how far a given industry can be expected to increase its output by simply increasing its efficiency, without absorbing further resources". Since that time techniques to measure efficiency have improved and investigations of efficiency have become more frequent, particularly in industry. Nevertheless, the measurement of efficiency of public administrative efficiency remains a conceptual challenge. Problems arise because public administration has multiple objectives and because public sector outputs are often not sold on the market which implies that price data is not available and that the output cannot be quantified. e-Government programs remain at the top of most countries policy agendas (UN, 2002).
The emphasis on e-Government may be due to the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) to transform public administration (PA) to an efficient system, enhance public services quality, establish trust between public administration and citizens and realize economic objectives (OECD, 2003; UN, 2004). In fact, e-Government aims at providing an efficient government management, better service delivery, and empowerment of citizens through access to information and participation in public policy decision making (UN, 2005). For these benefits, the PA in most countries develops Web sites, portals and electronic services delivery (UN, 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005). However, differences in worldwide adoption of e-Government are considerable. The e-Government readiness index estimated for each of UN countries varies between 0, 9062 in the United States of America and 0, 0011 in Liberia (UN, 2005).
The Web Measure Index varies between 0 (no presence for countries like Haiti, Zambia, Liberia, etc.) and 1 in the United States of America. Certainly, the diffusion of the Web in PA leans on a political will that mobilizes the necessary human, material and financial resources. But, this diffusion depends also on social and economic variables (UN, 2002). UN (2005) affirm that e-Government readiness is a function of a country’s situation of technological and telecommunication infrastructure and of the level of its human resource development. Nevertheless, “the number of variables - social, legal and institutional as well as economic and technological - which might retard the diffusion process is virtually limitless’’ (Rosenberg, 1972, cited by Erumban and de Jong, 2006, p.303).
Recently, several researchers show the importance of culture in IT adoption and justify the divergences between countries in the adoption of ICT, in general (Erumban and de Jong, 2006) and of specific technologies, such as Internet, PC, fax machines, cellular phone, telephone and pagers (Bagchi and al., 2004; Gong and al., 2007) on the base of the cultural variables. According to Zghal (2001), cultures include both favorable factors to ICT exploitation and unfavorable ones that may hinder an efficient implementation of these technologies. So, this research tries to answer this question: what is the impact of the national culture on the adoption of the e-Government by the PA? The analysis starts with the definition of e-Government and the presentation of its stages of evolution. Then, an explanation of the differences between the countries use of the e-Government is advanced on the base of a cultural perspective and the hypotheses are formulated. After the precision of the methodology, the results and their interpretations are presented.
Statement of the problem
The objective of assessing the effect of internet culture on administrative efficiency is to enhance the effective use of the various forms of online communication in contributing to the overall economic development of the country through effective administration. But the objective cannot be achieved in a situation where the would-be beneficiaries are not even aware of the existence of such platforms. Moreover, the few who are aware of these platforms do not even bother to apply them at their place of work due to stringent work style, therefore, there is the need to proffer solutions to these problems to ensure the growth and development of our economy.
1.3 Significance of the study
The research will be of benefit to the government – Federal ministry of communication technology. It will provide a framework for the critical evaluation of the various forms of internet culture and how it affects the efficiency of an administration. It will provide a basis for the modification of the use of internet for communication in the ministry and identify loopholes where necessary. It will also benefit other researchers, forming a basis for further research on the subject in future. The study also gives a clear insight into the various forms of internet culture and how they can be executed efficiently to favor ministries and organizations that use the internet as a means of communication.
1.4 Objectives of the study
The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of internet culture on administrative efficiency in Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:
To identify the various forms of the internet culture and how they affect administrative efficiency.
To determine the relationship between internet culture and administrative efficiency in Nigeria.
1.5 Research questions
The following research questions will be considered in this study:
What are effects does internet culture have on administrative efficiency of organizations?
Is there any relationship between internet culture and administrative efficiency?
1.6 Research hypotheses
In order to ascertain the effect of internet culture on the efficiency of the administration of Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, the following hypotheses have been formulated:
Ho: Internet culture does not have any significant effect on the efficiency of the administration of Federal Ministry of Communication Technology.
Hi: Internet culture affects the efficiency of the administration of Federal Ministry of Communication Technology significantly.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between internet culture and administrative efficiency.
Hi: There is significant relationship between internet culture and administrative efficiency.
1.7 Limitations of the study
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this study was the delay in getting data from the various respondents. Most respondents were reluctant in filling questionnaires administered to them due to their busy schedules and nature of their work. The researcher found it difficult to collect responses from the various respondents, and this almost hampered the success of this study.
1.8 Scope of the study
The study covers various forms of the internet culture such as online communities, online multi-player gaming, wearable computing, social gaming, social media, mobile apps, augmented reality, and texting and how they affect the administrative efficiency using Federal Ministry of Communication Technology as a case study.
1.9 Definition of terms
Internet: Is a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.
Internet culture: Is the study of various social phenomena associated with the internet and other new forms of the network communication.
Efficiency: A the state of being efficient. It means achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.
Administrative Efficiency: The capacity of an organization, institution, or business to produce desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, personnel, materiel, etc.
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