MG479      Half Unit
Information Systems for the Public Sector: Digital Government and Service Innovation

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Antonio Cordella MAR 4.35


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MSc in Management (1 Year Programme), MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation, MSc in Strategic Communications and Master of Public Administration. 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 WT.

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

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the WT.

One 1000-word formative essay to be submitted in week 7. Formative feedback is also provided on class participation with seminars based around reading and discussing selected journal articles.

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. & Paletti, A. (2019) Government as a platform, orchestration, and public value creation: the Italian case. Government Information Quarterly, 36 (4). ISSN 0740-624X

• 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.

• Lanzara, G.F. “Buiding digital institutions: ICT and the rise of assemblages in government” in Contini, F., and Lanzara, G.F. (Ed.) ICT and innovation in the public sector Pelgrave, London, 2008

• Meijer A.J., 2008. E-mail in government: Not post-bureaucratic but late-bureaucratic organizations. Government Information Quarterly, 25(3), pp.429–447.

• Nograsek J. & Vintar M., 2014. E-government and organisational transformation of government: Black box revisited? Government Information Quarterly, 31(1), pp.108–118.

• O’Reilly T., 2011. Government as a Platform. Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 6(1), pp.13–40.

• Panagiotopoulos, P., Klievink, B. and Cordella, A., 2019. Public value creation in digital government.

• 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.


Essay (60%, 3000 words) and project (40%, 12000 words) in the WT and ST.

The project coursework will be done in groups.  

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: 23

Average class size 2022/23: 12

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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