E-government Policy Formation - Understanding the roles of change drivers, veto players and advocacy coalitions
2014 (English)In: Electronic Journal of eGovernment, ISSN 1479-439X, Vol. 12, no 2, 131-141 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Despite its promise of increasing public authorities’ effectiveness, improving decision making and service delivery, e-government initiatives too often fail. So far, reasons for this have largely been sought in technological aspects of e-government. However, e-government is much more complex than that; e-government also encompasses aspects related to the “inner workings” of organizations, policy formation processes and change management. Based on an in-depth case study of an e-government policy formation process in the municipality of Vasteras, Sweden, this paper sets out to develop the understanding of e-government policy failure by elucidating how individuals’ actions, behaviors and decision affect endeavors to improve e-government policy agendas. Applying theoretical concepts from political science and the change management literature, this paper describes how a change driver attempted to accomplish fundamental changes in the policy area of e-government, through involving as many stakeholders as possible in the policy formation process, and how this enabled for the emergence of a new advocacy coalition. This advocacy coalition consisted of the actors involved in the policy formation process, and these actors espoused the policy belief advocated by the change driver. However, as time went by, it became apparent that there also existed several veto players, which the change driver failed to engage, and who actively blocked the attempt to get the new policy documents on e-government adopted. As a consequence, the policy formation process failed, despite that the municipality of Vasteras had exceptionally good conditions for improving the e-government policy agenda. This case study highlights the need for e-government-research to look beyond theoretical areas of technological science, and it illustrates the usefulness of theories from political science and change management when furthering the knowledge of e-government. It also points to the need for more processual studies on policy formation processes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 12, no 2, 131-141 p.
e-government, policy formation processes, the municipality of Vasteras, veto players, advocacy coalitions, change processes, change drivers
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-30899OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-30899DiVA: diva2:898965