Affiliations: Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University, Scheelevägen 15, 223 70 Lund, Sweden. Tel.: +46 462223005; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The topic of this paper is the role of benchmarking in Chinese e-government.
Through content analysis of documentary material, this paper addresses the
following questions: Which benchmarking schemes have been applied to
e-government in China? What are the intentions behind the different
benchmarking schemes? and Whose interests are served? Whereas previous
research finds that benchmarking addresses mainly the front office of
e-government (websites), this paper finds that organizational indicators are
also used. Benchmarking efforts now increasingly address the back office,
and basic benchmarking schemes have become institutionalized into a census.
Benchmarking reinforces the interests of the central government and
communicates the values of the Communist Party to the fragmented
bureaucracy. In this way, benchmarking is used as an integrative mechanism
that centralizes governance while maintaining adaptive capacity at the local