Outcomes of effective explanations: Empowering citizens through online advice

Manning Li*, Shirley Gregor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • E-government
  • Empowerment
  • Government Service Provider Image
  • Online advisory service
  • Online advisory systems
  • Transparency


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