E-services hold the potential to innovate how the public sector operates, and to increase the transparency of public services. Numerous research initiatives have illustrated the innovation power of e-services; with new technology and new solutions to existing problems. Research on this topic also emphasizes that in order for public e-services to reach their full potential, they need to be designed in a way that users find useful and beneficiary. Interestingly, in practice, only fragments of this claimed innovation seem to take place. Today, most public e-services launched are merely electronic versions of existing services with no, or very low, degree of innovation. In this paper, we analyse empirical data from local government e-service providers. The aim is to explore the current practices in local government e-service development with respect to how aspects related to innovative and high quality service provisioning are handled. In doing so, we analyse what basic motivators there are for local governments to offer e-services in the first place, and how such motivators influence innovation in local government e-service development. The analysis concludes that local governments are facing a challenging situation in terms of a general lack of resources regarding time, competence, and skills, as well as a dispersed user segment where needs and wills often are hard to grasp. Furthermore, local governments are facing conflicting interests and agendas. At the end of the day, the heights of innovation are then hard to achieve. We call for further research on the applicability of previous research findings in other research areas in order to promote more innovative e-service provisioning.

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