e-Government Implementation and Leadership – the Brunei Case Study

Governments around the world are deploying electronic (e) government so as to reap the benefits and the promise brought upon by the advancement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The implementation of many e-government projects, however, seems to have failed to achieve its full potential due to the complex nature of e-government. It is now realized that ICT diffusion is much more than just technological adoption and adaption. Many soft issues exist, particularly one that deals with the human side of technological implementation. This paper examines the core factor of leadership, which according to the findings of this paper, is of paramount importance to the successful implementation of e-government. The implementation process of e-government in Brunei is first discussed and then analysed from the leadership’s perspectives. Case studies on the experiences of implementing e-government projects in all the ministries in Brunei were conducted. Interviews with key players from each ministry were also conducted. This paper shows that poor identification of a champion in e-government resulted in inertia in initiating the e-government, silos (compartmentalization) among the government agencies, duplication of projects, poor change management strategy, lack of incentives to take risk, and the emergence of rank and file rather than top-down innovation approach. Several key learning points on leadership have been proposed in this paper with regard to all the identified leadership issues in implementing e-government.

Hazri Kifle1 and Kim Cheng Patrick Low2
1Universiti of Brunei Darussalam Brunei
2University of South Australia, Australia

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