The aim of this paper is to analyse the translation of the national policies at local levels in order to draw some conclusions about the impact of the strategies upon an equitable distribution of an esociety in terms of ethnicity and disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly and disabled. Three data gathering activities were conducted in the UK local areas of Hillingdon and Medway: a survey that included 620 completed responses from the citizens; focus group discussions in both locales and interviews with the local government managers responsible for the local e-government initiatives. To ensure a high response rate from the ethnic groups and disabled citizens the snowball data gathering strategy was employed. The findings of this study illustrate that by employing the diffusion theory of King et al, the local government policies are reducing the digital divide. However, the danger does exist that in pursuit of providing an equitable distribution of an e-society a novel and diverse form of digital divide, a rural and urban and diverse ethnic groups divide could occur. This research should offer a substantial contribution to various stakeholders including government agencies, management consulting firms, Internet Service Providers and IT organisations who may want to identify areas where e-government services can still be improved. This will also assist government agencies to understand the problem of low adoption and formulate a strategy to promote awareness and diffusion.
Choudrie, Jyoti; Brinkman, Willem-Paul; and Pathania, Ravinder, "Diffusion theory and the digital divide in e-services: an empirical investigation of two local areas in the UK" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. 156.