Electconic applications for public administration and contacts between citizens and governments are developing worldwide. E-government is a concept tbat includes all forms of electronic applications used by govemmental bodies; e-services are those used for services to citizens, private firms and organizations. European Union ministers unanimously agreed on a declaration for e-government in 2009, aiming to 'use eGovemment to increase tbeir efficiency and effectiveness and to constantly improve public services in a way that caters for users' different needs and maximizes public value' (Ministerial Declaration on e-government, 2009). The policy illustrates great optimism for e-government in terms of efficiency and citizen value. However, wben implemented, there are great demands placed on professionals in public administration to take up and realize tbese expectations. They have the possibility to act as entrepreneurs, be creative and break organizational norms and boundaries, which is the focus ofthis chapter.
There are increased expectations about the potential of e-govemance to meet tbe still basic demands of sustained efficiency and democracy in public administration. The use of information technology (IT) is developed in close interplay between the organizational and technical components of a socio-technical network (Hughes, 1983). Public policy and administration also develop in relation to late modernization and globalization, and the increased use of IT is integrated in many other processes of change. Thus, few changes cao be related to the use of new technology a lone. E-government applications provided through technical and organizational applications are usually developed and designed to address a specific problem or issue in public administration. The technological innovations are thus not the primary focus; the aim is the problems dealt with by public administration (Wihlborg, 2000).
E-government development and the implementation of innovations thus take place in the crossing points between technology and professionals in administration. The cases we use to illustrate this here concern regional student counseling and applications to upper secondary schools in Sweden. The Swedish government has worked extensively on e-government, and there are several local and regional initiatives intended to increase the use of IT and the provision of broadband infrastructures (SOU, I 999; 2002; 2008). For 3 years (2003- 2005), the government had a special delegation, The 2417 Agency Delegation, to promote and stimulate the development and use of public e-services (SOU, 2004). Currently a Swedish governmental e-delegation reaching over all public administration has been formed to promote integration and efficiency, similar to the British arrangements (Dunleavy et al., 2007; Government Gateway, 2010). One example of this e-government development toward reforming the public sector is that several Swedish municipalities have implemented customer centers (see for example Bernhard, 2010).
The aim of this chapter is firstly to conceptualize a framework of innovative e-governance into e-service, e-administration and e-democracy as different contexts for entrepreneurial behavior, and secondly to use the approach to analyse and compare the implementation of the innovations of the common application systems for upper secondary schools in two Swedish regions.
Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014, 1. 199-220 p.