An Exploratory Study on the Role of Stakeholder Management in the Implementation of Smart Government Projects in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The extant literature on stakeholder theory describes it as a vital managerial tool for establishing relationships across various organisational domains and establishing product/or service value. Although there is not an accepted universal definition to explain what constitutes a stakeholder, the foundational concept which is a normative view derived from the social and behavioural sciences, defines stakeholders as “all of those groups and individuals that can affect or are affected by the accomplishment of organisational purpose (Freeman, 1984, p. 46). Undoubtedly, this definition suggests that a clear connection exist and the ‘‘economic value is created by people who voluntarily come together and cooperate to improve everyone’s circumstance’’ (Freeman et al., 2004, p. 364). Using a stakeholder theory framework, this qualitative study investigated the relationship between stakeholder management practices and stakeholder involvement relative to m-government and e-Government smart technologies used in the UAE. Thus, within the organisational context face-to-face interviews were conducted with a sample of 25 diverse stakeholders from three different public-sector organisations. The results of the study presented four themes that underscored the importance of the stakeholder relationship in influencing product/or service value among digital consumers. In addition, the interviews revealed that internal and external stakeholder support is associated with facilitating higher customer usage of mobile and electronic government application technologies. Therefore, the central value of the present research study is that it improves the understanding of how stakeholder management is key to maintaining stakeholder retention and commitment relative to achieving smart government objectives. Given the priority of smart government initiatives in the UAE, stakeholder influence is essential to improving consumer acceptance and satisfaction with new mobile technology applications.
stakeholder management, smart government projects, managerial tool, United Arab Emirates (UAE)