Online advisory services are increasingly being adopted by modern service organisations as an effective way of interacting with their customers. However, despite their importance, our understanding of the value of online advisory services is limited, particularly in the e-government context. Systematic studies addressing design guidelines and best practices for online advisory tools are sparse. This study experimentally investigates the key role that effective online advisory tools play in generating a sense of empowerment among consumers in a government-citizen context. Our findings indicate that tools that have 'enhanced' explanatory facilities lead to both improved decision-process satisfaction and decision-advice transparency, in line with prior theory. Further, the study extends the theory on explanations and service design by showing that the higher levels of satisfaction and transparency flow on to empowerment effects, namely a higher sense of control and a lower perceived power distance. A further positive outcome is the improved perceptions of the service provider, in this case the government agency.
- Government Service Provider Image
- Online advisory service
- Online advisory systems