Perceptions of Information System Success in the Public Sector: Webmasters at the Steering Wheel?

Hanne Sørum, Rony Medaglia, Kim Normann Andersen, Murray Scott, William DeLone

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between constructs of information system (IS) success in the public sector, as perceived by webmaster intermediaries, and investigate how user testing affects these relationships.

    Design/methodology/approach – Online surveys were conducted, using questionnaires, with webmasters in Denmark and Norway who participated in the public sector web award contests organized by the government (n=1,237, n=541; response rate 44 per cent).

    Findings – It was found that the frequency with which webmasters carry out user testing affects their perceptions of IS success, with those who conduct no user testing displaying the weakest associations among success variables. Findings also suggest that webmasters who do little or no user testing conveniently assume that citizen users are satisfied, while webmasters who are more knowledgeable of the user experience have a greater perception of levels of success.

    Practical implications – The fact that the majority of webmasters do not perform any type of user testing triggers a reflection on the need for such important intermediaries to enhance their feedback channels. User involvement in assessing IS success cannot be overlooked, especially considering that user empowerment in the design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems matches a window of opportunity originating in the ongoing growth of web interactivity.

    Originality/value – The paper is one of the few that investigates constructs of IS success in the public sector, and arguably the first one that focuses on the impacts of user testing on the relationships between constructs of IS success in a public setting.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTransforming Government
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)239-257
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Demark
    • Norway
    • Information Systems
    • Web Sites
    • Public Sector
    • Feedback
    • Intermediaries
    • DeLone and McLean IS Success Model
    • Webmaster
    • User Testing

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