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Values in eGov Systems

My paper entitled “Shared Values/Conflicting Logics: Working Around E-Government Systems” has been accepted for publication at CHI 2014 (ETA: and nominated for a best paper award!). Written with co-authors Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian Hayes and Melissa Mazmanian, we describe results from fieldwork conducted at a social services site where the workers evaluate citizens’ applications for food and medical assistance submitted via an e-government system. These results suggest value tensions that result—not from different stakeholders with different values—but from differences among how stakeholders enact the same shared value in practice. In the remainder of this paper, we unpack the distinct and conflicting interpretations or logics of three shared values—efficiency, access, and education. In particular, we analyze what happens when social services workers have ideas about what it means to expand access, increase efficiency, and educate the public that conflict with the logics embedded in the e-government system. By distinguishing between overarching values and specific logics, we provide an analytic framework for exploring value tensions as values are enacted in practice.