Understanding the 'E-Petitioner'

Cruickshank, P., Smith, C. (2011). Understanding the 'E-Petitioner'. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 5, (4), 319-329.



Purpose: This article considers the ways in which large-scale e-participation projects can be evaluated. It argues that existing evaluation approaches can be improved upon by taking a closer look at the characteristics of the users of such systems, by estimating their self-efficacy.

Design/methodology/approach: Literature review is followed by the development of relevant research questions, and an assessment of points at which relevant and useful data can be collected in a petitioning process.

Findings: Data relating to self-efficacy, while not simple to collect, can add much to the evaluation process, and has the potential to result in more effective projects and systems.

Research limitations: The findings are specific to one project, EuroPetition, which will allow the co-ordination and submission of cross-border pan-European petitions.

Originality/value: The article represents the first attempt to integrate perspectives derived from social cognitive theory to the evaluation of a large e-participation project. Self efficacy is discussed in terms of both computer self-efficacy and political self-efficacy.
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Peter Cruickshank
+44 131 455 2309
Colin F Smith
Senior Lecturer
+44 131 455 2774

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