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Managing Citizens’ Uncertainty in E-Government Services: The Mediating and Moderating Roles of Transparency and Trust


  • Viswanath Venkatesh

    () (Department of Information Systems, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701)

  • James Y. L. Thong

    () (Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management, School of Business and Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

  • Frank K. Y. Chan

    () (Department of Information Systems, Decision Sciences and Statistics, ESSEC Business School, 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France)

  • Paul J. H. Hu

    () (Department of Operations and Information Systems, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112)


This paper investigates how citizens’ uncertainty in e-government services can be managed. First, we draw from uncertainty reduction theory, and propose that transparency and trust are two key means of reducing citizens’ uncertainty in e-government services. Second, we identify two key sets of relevant drivers of e-government service use: (1) information quality characteristics, i.e., accuracy and completeness; and (2) channel characteristics, i.e., convenience and personalization. We propose that the means of uncertainty reduction, information quality characteristics, and channel characteristics are interrelated factors that jointly influence citizens’ intentions to use e-government. We tested our model with 4,430 Hong Kong citizens’ reactions to two e-government services: government websites and online appointment booking. Our results show that the information quality and channel characteristics predict citizens’ intentions to use e-government. Furthermore, transparency and trust mediate as well as moderate the effects of information quality and channel characteristics on intentions. A follow-up survey found that citizens’ intentions predict use and ultimately, citizens’ satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Viswanath Venkatesh & James Y. L. Thong & Frank K. Y. Chan & Paul J. H. Hu, 2016. "Managing Citizens’ Uncertainty in E-Government Services: The Mediating and Moderating Roles of Transparency and Trust," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 87-111, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orisre:v:27:y:2016:i:1:p:87-111
    DOI: 10.1287/isre.2015.0612

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shuiqing Yang & Xianwu Zeng, 2018. "Sustainability of Government Social Media: A Multi-Analytic Approach to Predict Citizens’ Mobile Government Microblog Continuance," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-17, December.
    2. Raed A.I. Abueed & Mehmet Aga, 2019. "Sustainable Knowledge Creation and Corporate Outcomes: Does Corporate Data Governance Matter?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(20), pages 1-15, October.
    3. Heng Tang & Xiaowan Lin, 2019. "Curbing shopping cart abandonment in C2C markets — an uncertainty reduction approach," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 29(3), pages 533-552, September.
    4. Chien-Ta Bruce Ho & Nathatenee Gebsombut, 2019. "Communication Factors Affecting Tourist Adoption of Social Network Sites," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(15), pages 1-13, August.
    5. Balázs J.D. Hohmann, 2019. "Integrity Advisors and the Development of Administrative Communication Culture," European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies Articles, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 4, EJMS Janu.


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