The effects of national cultures on two technologically advanced countries: The case of e-leadership in South Korea and the United States
The increased use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has triggered enormous innovation in the public sector and created positive public value at the managerial, delivery of services, and policy levels. However, these positive outcomes do not automatically accrue simply by adoption of ICTs as public leaders can fail to adopt relevant new ICTs, use them poorly, or use them in ways that actually diminish public value, which raises the question of the importance of e-leadership. This article examines e-leadership and innovation capacity at the individual public manager level and fills in some gaps about the practice and implementation of ICTs in the public sector. We explore eight research questions useful in theorizing about e-leadership, develop constructs of e-leadership, and describe the current development of e-leadership. By comparing e-leadership in two country settings (South Korea and the United States), we also overcome the limitations of the existing Western-oriented studies about innovations in the public sector. In addition to the growth of e-leadership use and requirements for a variety of competencies equivalent to, but separate from, traditional communication competences, we find that national cultures exert significant influence on the major constructs of e-leadership, which implies that an effective e-leadership strategy should consider cultural contexts seriously.
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