Authors: Becky P.Y. Loo (The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Abstract: While the e-society is quickly emerging and developing in different parts of the world, it is certainly not a phenomenon that “appears” in a short period of time. Is there any useful conceptual framework for tracing and understanding the emergence and development of an e-society? If there is, how would such a framework facilitate our understanding of the impacts of enabling e-technologies? Besides, how should governments facilitate such a process? With these aims in mind, the process of e-development is conceptualized to have three major stages – the Formative Stage, the Developmental Stage and the Mature Stage. Each stage differs by the characteristics of i) actively participating population, ii) types of e-devices, e-platforms and e-communication technologies used, iii) main features of the four domains of the e-society described in this book (that is, e-government, e-commerce, e-working and e-networking), iv) role of the government and, notably, v) general mentality of the population toward the ownership and use of e-technologies in their everyday life. This framework, though not exactly the same as in previous Chapters, is fundamentally built upon the findings about the target population, the process, and key issues and barriers of e-government, e-commerce, e-working and e-networking described in Chapters Three to Six. The main reason for having a slightly modified framework in this Chapter is to highlight the temporal dimension of e-development and the crucial role of the government in facilitating the development of an e-society at different stages.
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