The Eta Project:
A neoinstitutional lens to study e-gov implementation in developing countries: Case of Lebanon.
A neoinstitutional lens to study e-gov implementation in developing countries: Case of Lebanon. This project studies the e-government implementation in Lebanon. Our aim is to apply a neoinstitutional theoretical lens to understand the role of institutional entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the implementation of e-government. We situate the implementation in the context of external global pressures aligned to an internal action of an institutional entrepreneur that led the Lebanese public authorities, since 2000, to invest in e-government despite the country’s serious economic difficulties and heavy debt. But the announcement of the change within the public organization led other actors to resist because that their behavior and rationality stayed conditioned by the old institution. They remain embedded in their habits and their old ways of doing things and refuse any change. They develop alliances to derail the process of change. They sought help of instances that can make external local pressures on the government in order to transform the implementation into a failure. This analysis will be based on the triangulation of evidence from a case study created from semi-structured interviews with senior officials in government agencies who led the implementation effort, public sector employees, official government documents, and newspaper reports related to the e-government project. Fifty interviews will provide the basis for a provisional interview schedule designed to yield new knowledge about this progress. Questions included administrative needs and objectives, (quality and skills of) personnel required to implement the project, anticipated benefits, resistance to the project inside the official’s agency and in other agencies, role of international agencies, the European Union, and other Arab countries that underwrote funding for the e-administration project, status of ICT and e-government use and pressures for adoption by Lebanese citizens, and the benefits that these officials envisioned. Semi-structured interviews lasting up to two hours will probe the origins of implementation choices, reasons for adoption, internal and external factors that have influenced these choices, agency culture (adoption, adaptation, resistance, and normative changes), extent of and steps taken to achieve institutionalization, problems encountered, different actor’s role, and effects on the functioning of public administration. These interviews will be conducted in Arabic by assistants, recorded, and then transcribed and translated (see Harkness et al., 2010). These fifty interviews conducted in Arabic will be translated into French and English, to prepare for future international conference presentations and journal publications in French and English.Titulaire :