IS479      Half Unit
Information Systems for the Public Sector: Digital Government and Service Innovation

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Antonio Cordella NAB3.30 and Prof Patrick Dunleavy CON5.19


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Management, Information Systems and Innovation, MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Public Management and Governance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Digital government and digital public sector services are the result of the widespread adoption of ICTs, Web processes and social media in public sector organisation - which cumulatively transform and may ‘producize’ the nature of public services delivered to citizens. This course covers the recent and likely-future major organizational and technology change processes in the government sector. Core topics include: the distinctive aspects of the public administration context for technology-enabled innovation; digital government and public sector reform; public sector ICT innovation and public value creation; the the use of ICTs to streamline public services as part of wider business process changes; measuring and growing productivity via digital changes; ‘digital by default’ services and social media in government; and next-generation shifts to EDGE (Essentially Digital GovernancE).


20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of seminars and 4 hours of workshops in the LT.

10 two-hour lectures, 10 one-hour seminars and 4 one-hour project essay workshops.

Formative coursework

One 1000-word formative essay to be submitted in week 7. Seminars are based around reading and discussing selected journal articles from the course study pack. Formative feedback is provided on class participation.

Indicative reading

A. Cordella, 'A E-government: towards the e-bureaucratic form?', Journal of Information Technology, (2007), 22, 265-274; A. Cordella, and C. Bonina. 'A public value perspective for ICT enabled public sector reforms', Government Information Quarterly; (2012) Cordella, A., & Willcocks, L., Outsourcing, bureaucracy and public value: Reappraising the notion of the "contractstate", Government Information Quarterly (2009),; P. Dunleavy et al, Digital era governance: IT corporations, the state and e-government (Oxford University Press, 2006).; P Dunleavy and H. Margetts,'Web Science, Public Management and the Second Wave of Digital Era Governance', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A .(2012, forthcoming) - available in LSE Research Online; L. Carrera and P. Dunleavy, Growing the Productivity of Government Sector Services (Edward Elgar: 2012 forthcoming); M. Bovens and S. Zouridis "From Street-Level to System-Level Bureaucracies", Public Administration Review; (2002) 62 (2), pp. 174-184; R. Heeks and S. Bailur, "Analysing eGovernment Research'.Government Information Quarterly, (2007) 22 (2), pp. 243-265.; M. Yildiz, 'E-government research: reviewing the literature, limitations, and ways forward', Government Information Quarterly (2007) 24, 646-665;

Core readings will be made available in a study e-pack.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in April.

Key facts

Department: Information Systems and Innovation Group

Total students 2012/13: 34

Average class size 2012/13: 17

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 76.5%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)