Journal of Information Technology

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 184–194 | Cite as

Sowing the seeds of IS cultivation in public service organisations

  • Marco De Marco
  • Maddalena Sorrentino
Research Article


This paper aims to highlight the relevance of a cultivation approach with the goal of exploring the concrete implications it may have for public administrations (PA) involved in projects of organisational change. We suggest that adopting an approach to change that reflects the cultivation perspective is an unavoidable choice for PA, much more so than it is for the corporate world. The claim is that public-sector organisations design and implement organisational solutions that find it hard to move away from the ‘maintenance’ logic of legacy systems. Compared with the rational perspective, which is geared entirely to establishing optimal relations between means and ends, the cultivation approach enables us to make valuable advances at the interpretive level. We argue that the value of the processual and incremental perspective can be useful in creating a more realistic and less illusory reconstruction of the relationship between technological change and organisational change. In this paper, we discuss how combining policy studies with ICT social studies can help empower the cultivation logic, originating new tools for analysing and evaluating e-government results.


cultivation e-government social studies of ICT implementation of change incrementalism public service organisations 



This paper would not have taken its present shape without the constructive inputs of the three anonymous reviewers. We would like to thank both the editors and the reviewers for giving us the opportunity to contribute to this issue.


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Copyright information

© Association for Information Technology Trust 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic and Management SciencesCatholic University of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Social and Political StudiesState University of MilanMilanItaly

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