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Abstract

Trust, which has been found to be a significant facilitator for the adoption and usage of new business paradigms like e-commerce, is relatively unexplored in the context of e-government. Using trust literature as the theoretical lens, we propose an e-government trust grid for the adoption and usage of e-government, comprising two dimensions: ‘trust in government’ and ‘trust in Internet technology.’ Based on their levels of trust in the two identified dimensions, nations can fall into one of four quadrants: Adversarial, Competitive, Cooperative, and Collaborative. Using focus groups and interviews with young adults in Singapore, we find that in recent years, Singapore is evolving from the cooperative (low trust in Internet technology and high trust in government) to the collaborative (high trust in Internet technology and high trust in government) quadrant. The study delineates a set of lessons learned from the Singapore experience for engendering citizen trust in e-government. These lessons for governments are: solicit feedback from citizens, demonstrate top leadership commitment and support, build institutional trust, cultivate IT literacy, and enact comprehensive and effective legal systems.

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