Skip to main content

Barriers and Drivers of Digital Transformation in Public Organizations: Results from a Survey in the Netherlands

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12219)

Abstract

The introduction of ICT is requiring public administrations to transform their organizations to take advantage of these technologies. Despite its significance, no studies so far collected quantitative evidence on (i) how and the extent to which this transformation is currently underway and (ii) which drivers and barriers are hindering and leading this transformation process. This article aims at filling this gap by surveying Dutch public administrations. In total, 46 responses from different organizations were collected that provide insight into their transformation efforts. Findings show that digital transformation efforts had only a partial impact at the organizational level: processes, employees’ duties and tasks and information systems are going through a deep transformation, whereas the social system seems to be less affected by the transformation process. Moreover, the analysis results suggest that external drivers are the main motivation for organizational transformation, and that expected internal barriers do not de facto result in digital transformation. These counterintuitive results suggest that in public administrations only exogenous input result in a sense of urgency and that the perceived barriers to transformation can be overcome if there is sufficient external pressure.

Keywords

  • Organizational transformation
  • Transformational government
  • Socio-technical theory
  • Barriers and drivers
  • E-government

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-57599-1_4
  • Chapter length: 15 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-57599-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.

References

  1. Margetts, H., Dunleavy, P.: The second wave of digital-era governance: a quasi-paradigm for government on the web. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. A Math. Phys. Eng. Sci. 371(1987), 1–17 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Dunleavy, P., Margetts, H., Bastow, S., Tinkler, J.: New public management is dead - long live digital-era governance. J. Public Adm. Res. Theor. 16(3), 467–494 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Nograšek, J., Vintar, M.: E-government and organisational transformation of government: black box revisited? Gov. Inf. Q. 31(1), 108–118 (2014)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Fountain, J.E.: Public sector: early stage of a deep transformation. In: Litan, R., Rivlin, A. (eds.) The Economic Payoff from the Internet Revolution, pp. 235–268. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C. (2001)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Hughes, O.: Public Management And Administration: An Introduction. MacMillan Education (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Yildiz, M.: E-government research: reviewing the literature, limitations, and ways forward. Gov. Inf. Q. 24(3), 646–665 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Pollitt, C.: Advanced Introduction To Public Management and Administration. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (2016)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Weerakkody, V., Dhillon, G.: Moving from e-government to t-government: a study of process reengineering challenges in a UK local authority context. Int. J. Electron. Gov. Res. 4(4), 1–16 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Pedersen, K.: E-government transformations: challenges and strategies. Transform. Gov. People Process Policy 12(1), 84–109 (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Weerakkody, V., El-Haddadeh, R., Sabol, T., Ghoneim, A., Dzupka, P.: E-government implementation strategies in developed and transition economies: a comparative study. Int. J. Inf. Manage. 32(1), 66–74 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Coursey, D., Norris, D.F.: Models of e-government: Are they correct? an empirical assessment. Public Adm. Rev. 68(3), 523–536 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Moon, M.J.: The evolution of e-government amoung municipalities: rhetoric or reality? Public Adm. Rev. 62(4), 424–433 (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  13. van Veenstra, A.F., Klievink, B., Janssen, M.: Barriers and impediments to transformational government: insights from literature and practice. Electron. Gov. Int. J. 8(2/3), 226–241 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Bostrom, R.P., Heinen, J.S.: MIS problems and failures: a socio- technical perspective. MIS Q. 1(3), 17–32 (1977)

    Google Scholar 

  15. Al-Emadi, A., Anouze, A.L.: Grounded theory analysis of successful implementation of e-government projects: exploring perceptions of e-government authorities. Int. J. Electron. Gov. Res. 14(1), 23–52 (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  16. Weerakkody, V., El-Haddadeh, R., Sivarajah, U., Omar, A., Molnar, A.: A case analysis of e-government service delivery through a service chain dimension. Int. J. Inf. Manage. 47, 233–238 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  17. Gascó, M.: New technologies and institutional change in public administration. Soc. Sci. Comput. Rev. 21(1), 6–14 (2003)

    MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  18. Ashaye, O.R., Irani, Z.: The role of stakeholders in the effective use of e-government resources in public services. Int. J. Inf. Manage. 49, 253–270 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ebrahim, Z., Irani, Z.: E-government adoption: architecture and barriers. Bus. Process Manag. J. 11(5), 589–611 (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  20. Wirtz, B.W., Langer, P.F.: Public multichannel management – an integrated framework of off- and online multichannel government services. Public Organ. Rev. 17(4), 563–580 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  21. Eynon, R., Dutton, W.H.: Barriers to networked governments: evidence from Europe. Prometheus 25(3), 225–242 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  22. Janssen, M., Cresswell, A.M.: An enterprise application integration methodology for e-government. J. Enterp. Inf. Manag. 18(5), 531–547 (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  23. Meijer, A.J.: E-governance innovation: barriers and strategies. Gov. Inf. Q. 32(2), 198–206 (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  24. Mohammad, K.: E-leadership: the emerging new leadership for the virtual organization. J. Manag. Sci. 3(1), 1–21 (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  25. Mergel, I., Edelmann, N., Haug, N.: Defining digital transformation: results from expert interviews. Gov. Inf. Q. 36(4), 1–16 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  26. European Commission, eGovernment Benchmark 2019: trust in government is increasingly important for people (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  27. Williamson, Ó.: Transaction cost economics: how it works; where it is headed. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 146, 23–58 (1998)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Luca Tangi .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Appendices

Appendix I – Questionnaire

  1. 1.

    From an organizational perspective, so far digitalization in your organization transformed: (1- strongly disagree; 5 - strongly agree):

    • Processes (reengineering of the existing processes, process management and control)

    • People (duties, tasks, complexity of work, competences)

    • Culture (endorsed values, personal and collective behavior)

    • Structure (standardization, centralization/decentralization, hierarchy, external relationships, flexibility)

    • Information Systems (IS) (introduction of new IS, replacing of the existing ones, integration amongst different IS, interoperability, IT infrastructure)

  2. 2.

    In your organization, the organizational transformation process that goes along with digitalization is hindered by: (1- strongly disagree; 5 - strongly agree)

    • Lack of available skills

    • Shortage of personnel

    • Lack of political support

    • Lack of managerial support

    • Organizational complexity

    • Lack of coordination among the departments/areas of the organization

    • Resistance to change

    • Bureaucratic culture

    • Fear of innovation

  3. 3.

    In your organization the organizational transformation process that goes along with digitalization is pushed by: (1- strongly disagree; 5 - strongly agree)

    • Strength of internal leadership

    • Internal dissatisfaction about the status quo

    • Expected benefits for the administration

    • Expected benefits for external actors (stakeholders and/or final users)

    • External pressure

    • External legal obligations

  4. 4.

    Public Administration:

    • Ministry

    • Administrative Organization

    • Regional Administration

    • Municipality

    • Other government

    • Private company

    • Other (specify).

  5. 5.

    Number of employees of the Administration:

    • ≤20

    • 21–100

    • 101–400

    • 401–2000

    • >2000

  6. 6.

    Role:

    • Politician

    • Director

    • Pubic Manager

    • Public Servant

    • Other (specify)

  7. 7.

    Years of experience in the public sector:

    • Less than 5 years

    • More than 5 years

  8. 8.

    Years of work in the current organization:

    • Less than 2 years

    • More than 2 years

Appendix II – Reliability Test

  N. of item Cronbach’s alpha
OT_TOT 5 0,866
OT_Tecnical System 3 0,840
SB_TOT 6 0,646
CB_TOT 3 0,668
ED_TOT 3 0,674
ID_TOT 3 0,536
  1. Note. ID_TOT was excluded from the regression analysis due to the low Cronbach’s alpha. Cronbach’s alpha higher than 0.6 was considered acceptable, due to the exploratory nature of the study

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Tangi, L., Janssen, M., Benedetti, M., Noci, G. (2020). Barriers and Drivers of Digital Transformation in Public Organizations: Results from a Survey in the Netherlands. In: , et al. Electronic Government. EGOV 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12219. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57599-1_4

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57599-1_4

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-57598-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-57599-1

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)