What Does it Mean to Serve the Citizen in E-Services? - Towards a Practical Theory Founded in Socio-Instrumental Pragmatism

Göran Goldkuhl


In what way is a public e-service a service to citizens? This question has driven a practical inquiry into a planned e-service application for municipal child care. A requirements specification for an e-service application was investigated. The e-service application was found to lack proper information about child care supply options, and rules and regulations concerning the child care. Important changes of social relations between municipality and parents were not communicated. The citizen was mainly seen as an information supplier and not as someone to serve. Results from this practical inquiry have been abstracted into an evolving practical theory. This practical theory consists of a definition of public e-services and abstracted patterns of e-service actions. The practical inquiry has been informed by practical theories all founded in socioinstrumental pragmatism. As basis for the study, a special elaboration of the concepts of practical inquiry and practical theory has been made in the paper.

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