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2009 Annual Report

Digital Government Scholarship

Digital Government Scholarship

CTG Scholars Recognized as Ranking Members of the Digital Government Community

In a 2009 journal article, Theresa Pardo, Anthony Cresswell, Sharon Dawes, and J. Ramon Gil Garcia were ranked in the top ten of scholars in the field of digital government. The area of digital government research is a relatively young field compared to other well established disciplines. Yet according to the article, approximately 300 peer-reviewed articles have been produced per year since 2004. The paper’s author is Hans J. (Jochen) Scholl, associate professor, Information Science, University of Washington.

Scholl’s article, Profiling the EG Research Community and Its Core, identifies eight CTG researchers and alumni as part of a 50-strong core of an international research community of approximately 800 researchers. Among the top ten are Pardo (#2), Cresswell (#7), Dawes (#5), Gil-Garcia (#1), and Scholl (#3). Both Gil-Garcia and Scholl are former CTG graduate assistants. Gil-Garcia stayed on at CTG as a postdoctoral fellow from 2005-2007 and continues his affiliation as a research fellow from his current position as an assistant professor in the Division of Public Administration at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City. In addition, Luis Luna-Reyes (also a former CTG graduate assistant), Enrico Ferro (a 2005 visiting scholar to CTG from Italy), and CTG program associate Natalie Helbig are listed in the top 50.


CTG congratulates four of its own for receiving their PhDs in 2009. Three graduate assistants and one full time staff member were awarded their PhDs from the University at Albany/SUNY. CTG’s engaged research with government provided these students with unique access and a rich repository of data. They built their study designs on existing CTG projects and then extended the research to produce increased value to the government sponsors and contribute to overall Center research productivity.

Bahadir Akcam
Bahadir Akcam, PhD in Information Science
Dissertation title: Socio-Technical Processes in Interorganizational Emergency Response and Recovery Process at the World Trade Center

Bahadir’s research explores the sociotechnical processes in interorganizational collaboration in responses to the World Trade Center attacks by extending and elaborating a generic dynamic theory. The researchanalyzes the interview data collected by CTG in 29 interviews of responders during the response and recovery process following the attacks on September 11, 2001. The interview analysis explored interagency collaboration in the response to the attacks in the context of information, technology, and coordination. The findings suggest that prior social relations and accumulation of social capital were critically important and that emergency conditions affected the ways in which social accumulation changed overtime.

Bahadir is now an assistant professor in the School of Business of Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he is teaching business information systems courses.

Natalie Helbig
Natalie Helbig, PhD in Public Administration and Policy
Dissertation title: Thinking Beyond Performance Indictors: A Holistic Study of Organizational Information Use
Recipient of Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award

Governments around the world have adopted performancerelated activities, primarily focused on the development and use of performance measurement as a major way to achieve service delivery improvement. Natalie’s dissertation develops a model of the use of organizational performance information to improve service delivery. While measuring performance remains problematic in government organizations, the real value of performance measurement and performance indicators appears to be the discussions enabled by the use of performance information to address questions about performance in general, including what produces, complicates, or limits performance.

Natalie has been a program associate at CTG since 2006, working on a range of projects including the use of mobile technologies in government, information as a public resource, and an IT workforce study for New York State. She will continue to work at CTG in addition to teaching courses as an adjunct professor in Public Administration at Rockefeller College of Public Administration and Policy.

Fawzi Mulki
Fawzi Mulki, PhD in Informatics, College of Computing and Information
Dissertation title: The Effects of Leadership and Authority on Cross-Boundary Information Sharing in Response to Public Health Crises: A Comparative Study between the United States and Jordan

Regardless of national context, cross-boundary information sharing is inevitably entangled with issues of jurisdiction, leadership, and authority. Fawzi’s study adds an international context to existing research by answering the question: “to what extent do officials in the United States and Jordan share key leadership characteristics and how are officials’ uses of authority similar or different?” While the study revealed similarities with respect to bureaucratic structures and the existence of charismatic traits, the leadership styles and focus exhibited by Jordanian and American officials were significantly different.

Fawzi returned to Jordan where he is project manager at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

Lei Zheng
Lei Zheng, PhD in Public Administration and Policy
Dissertation title: Leadership Behaviors in Cross-Boundary Information Sharing and Integration: Comparing the US and China

Cultural values can affect and interact with leader traits, power, behaviors, interventions, and success criteria both indirectly and indirectly to explain key differences between leadership in different countries. Lei’s dissertation comprises a comparative analysis between the US and China regarding public sector leadership behaviors in the context of cross-boundary information sharing and integration. The study expands the concepts and understanding of boundaries to include a variety of vertical and horizontal factors such as level of development. It also describes how interactions among boundary factors contribute to situational complexity and associated leadership challenges.

Lei returned to his native China as assistant professor at the Department of Public Administration, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, in Shanghai. He continues to collaborate with CTG as a partner on two projects: Understanding Transnational Public Sector Knowledge Networks and the North American Digital Government Working Group.

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