MG479      Half Unit
Information Systems for the Public Sector: Digital Government and Service Innovation (formerly IS479)

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Antonio Cordella NAB3.30


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 of Information Systems and Digital 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 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.

A reading week will take place in W6. There will be no teaching during this week.

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

  • Ahn M.J. & Bretschneider S., 2011. Politics of E-Government: E-Government and the Political Control of Bureaucracy. Public Administration Review, 71(3), pp.414–424.
  • Alford J. & Hughes O., 2008a. Public Value Pragmatism as the Next Phase of Public Management. The American Review of Public Administration, 38(2), pp.130–148.
  • Alfred Tat-Kei Ho, 2002. Reinventing Local Governments and the E-Government Initiative. Public Administration Review, 62(4), pp.434–444..
  • Andrew Kakabadse, Nada K. Kakabadse and Alexander Kouzmin, 2003. Reinventing the Democratic Governance Project Through Information Technology? A Growing Agenda for Debate. Public Administration Review, 63(1), pp.44–60.
  • Bannister, F., & Connolly, R. (2015). The great theory hunt: Does e-government really have a problem?. Government Information Quarterly.Vol. 32(1)
  • Bertot J.C., Jaeger P.T. & Grimes J.M., 2010. Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies. Government Information Quarterly, 27(3), pp.264–271.
  • Cordella A., 2007. E-government: towards the e-bureaucratic form? Journal of Information Technology, 22(3), pp.265–274.
  • Cordella A. & Iannacci F., 2010. Information systems in the public sector: The e-Government enactment framework. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 19(1), pp.52–66.
  • Cordella A. & Willcocks L., 2012. Government policy, public value and IT outsourcing: The strategic case of ASPIRE. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 21(4), pp.295–307.
  • Dunleavy P., 2005. New Public Management Is Dead--Long Live Digital-Era Governance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16(3), pp.467–494.
  • Eriksson O. & Goldkuhl G., 2013. Preconditions for public sector e-infrastructure development. Information and Organization, 23(3), pp.149–176.
  • Fishenden J. & Thompson M., 2013. Digital Government, Open Architecture, and Innovation: Why Public Sector IT Will Never Be the Same Again. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 23(4), pp.977–1004.
  • Fitzgerald B., 2011. Adopting open source software: a practical guide, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  • Janssen M., Charalabidis Y. & Zuiderwijk A., 2012. Benefits, Adoption Barriers and Myths of Open Data and Open Government. Information Systems Management, 29(4), pp.258–268.
  • Kim, B. J. (2015). Political efficacy, community collective efficacy, trust and extroversion in the information society: Differences between online and offline civic/political activities. Government Information Quarterly, 32(1), 43-51.
  • Meijer A.J., 2008. E-mail in government: Not post-bureaucratic but late-bureaucratic organizations. Government Information Quarterly, 25(3), pp.429–447.
  • Nograšek J. & Vintar M., 2014. E-government and organisational transformation of government: Black box revisited? Government Information Quarterly, 31(1), pp.108–118.
  • Oram A., 2011. Promoting Open Source Software in Government: The Challenges of Motivation and Follow-Through. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 8(3), pp.240–252.
  • O’Reilly T., 2011. Government as a Platform. Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 6(1), pp.13–40.
  • Sandoval-Almazan R. & Ramon Gil-Garcia J., 2014. Towards cyberactivism 2.0? Understanding the use of social media and other information technologies for political activism and social movements. Government Information Quarterly, 31(3), pp.365–378.
  • Shah R.C., Kesan J.P. & Kennis A., 2008. Lessons for Government Adoption of Open Standards: A Case Study of the Massachusetts Policy. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 5(4), pp.387–398.
  • Shaikh M., 2012. Mutability and Becoming: Materializing of Public Sector Adoption of Open Source Software in Bhattacherjee A. & Fitzgerald B., eds. Shaping the Future of ICT Research. Methods and Approaches, pp.123–140.
  • Shaw A., 2011. Insurgent Expertise: The Politics of Free/Livre and Open Source Software in Brazil. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 8(3), pp.253–272.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in April.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

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