Utilization of Electronic Government Services in Mexico: A Matter of Trust
AbstractExisting studies demonstrate that the use of e-government services by citizens is still not an extended practice even in countries that lead the world in e-government technologies. Factors such as trust in the government and the reliability of the Internet to conduct transactions are important determinants of the utilization of e-government services. However, most of the research about trust and e-government use is based on theoretical frameworks and theories using evidence from industrialized countries. Little work has been done to understand how cultural practices shape the cognitive processes that take place when citizens make choices with respect to e-government services in developing countries. This paper presents preliminary findings of an ongoing dissertation research. Two focus groups were conducted in Mexico to investigate the factors that contribute to the creation of perceptions of trust. Findings suggest that cultural practices and dynamics can play a critical role in the assimilation of e-government services by citizens. Factors such as previous experiences with a bureaucratic, inefficient, and corrupt system of public services, a generalized sense of distrust in bank institutions and the use of credit cards, and a strong reliance in consensus information with respect to the purchase of services influence the assessment of e-government services. Familiarity and experience with the Internet did not appear to decrease concerns about the risks involved in online transactions.
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