Managing Standardization in eGovernment: A Coordination Theory based Analysis Framework

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11020)


Standardization plays an important role for a smooth organizational, semantic, technical and legal interoperation of eGovernment services. Still, standardization struggles with the complexity of administrative procedures that have to be supported and provided online. Managing this complexity poses a crucial challenge for an efficient and effective eGovernment. Different management frameworks have been developed, but the progress of standardization in practice is still perceived as insufficient. To address the challenge of standardization management in eGovernment, we propose a coordination theory based framework for analysis. It consists of three coordination modes distinguished based on their mechanisms and relevant context dimensions. In our research approach, we interpret a single case study of a standardization project in Germany where artefacts were developed from a pragmatism perspective. We discuss our findings and conclude on implications for research and practice.


Standardization Coordination Management 


  1. 1.
    Hanseth, O., Bygstad, B.: Flexible generification: ICT standardization strategies and service innovation in health care. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 24(6), 645–663 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Janssen, M., Charalabidis, Y., Kuk, G., Cresswell, T.: Guest editors’ introduction: e-government interoperability, infrastructure and architecture: state-of-the-art and challenges. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 6(1), I–VIII (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Scholta, H., Balta, D., Wolf, P., Becker, J., Krcmar, H.: Standardization of service descriptions, process models and forms in public administrations: results from a survey in Germany. In: Electronic Government and Electronic Participation, pp. 245–252 (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Becker, J., Algermissen, L., Falk, T.: Modernizing Processes in Public Administrations: Process Management in the Age of e-Government and New Public Management. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Scholl, H.J., Kubicek, H., Cimander, R., Klischewski, R.: Process integration, information sharing, and system interoperation in government: a comparative case analysis. Gov. Inf. Q. 29(3), 313–323 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Radack, S.M.: More effective federal computer systems: the role of NIST and standards. Gov. Inf. Q. 7, 37–49 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Borras, J.: International technical standards for e-Government. Electron. J. eGovernment 2, 75–80 (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Charalabidis, Y., Lampathaki, F., Askounis, D.: A comparative analysis of national interoperability frameworks. In: 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems (2009)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gionis, G.A., Schroth, C., Janner, T.: Advancing interoperability for agile cross-organisational collaboration: a rule-based approach. In: Charalabidis, Y. (ed.) Interoperability in Digital Public Services and Administrations: Bridging E-Government and E-Business. Information Science Reference, Hershey (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Balta, D., Greger, V., Wolf, P., Krcmar, H.: Why realization mismatches expectations of e-Government project benefits? Towards benefit realization planning. In: Tambouris, E., et al. (eds.) EGOV 2015. LNCS, vol. 9248, pp. 233–245. Springer, Cham (2015). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Balta, D., Greger, V., Wolf, P., Krcmar, H.: E-government stakeholder analysis and management based on stakeholder interactions and resource dependencies. In: 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2015)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hanseth, O., Jacucci, E., Grisot, M., Aanestad, M.: Reflexive standardization: side effects and complexity in standard making. MIS Q. 30, 563–581 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hanseth, O., Monteiro, E., Hatling, M.: Developing information infrastructure: the tension between standardization and flexibility. Sci. Technol. Hum. Values 21(4), 407–426 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bharosa, N., Lee, J., Janssen, M.: Challenges and obstacles in sharing and coordinating information during multi-agency disaster response: propositions from field exercises. Inf. Syst. Front. 12(1), 49–65 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Janssen, M.: Sociopolitical aspects of interoperability and enterprise architecture in e-government. Soc. Sci. Comput. Rev. (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Brunsson, N., Rasche, A., Seidl, D.: The dynamics of standardization: three perspectives on standards in organization studies. Org. Stud. 33, 613–632 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lyytinen, K., King, J.L.: Standard making: a critical research frontier for information systems research. MIS Q. 30, 405–411 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Markus, M.L., Steinfield, C.W., Wigand, R.T.: Industry-wide information systems standardization as collective action: the case of the U.S. residential mortgage industry. MIS Q. 30, 439–465 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Rainey, H.G., Ronquillo, J.C., Avellaneda, C.N.: Decision making in public organizations. In: Handbook of Decision Making (2010)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jurisch, M.C.: IT-enabled Business Process Change in Private and in Public Sector Organizations. Technische Universität München (2014)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Faraj, S., Xiao, Y.: Coordination in fast-response organizations. Manag. Sci. 52(8), 1155–1169 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hofmann, S., Beverungen, D., Räckers, M., Becker, J.: What makes local governments’ online communications successful? Insights from a multi-method analysis of Facebook. Gov. Inf. Q. 30(4), 387–396 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Klischewski, R.: Architectures for tinkering? Contextual strategies towards interoperability in E-government. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 6(1), 26–42 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kuehn, A., Kaschewsky, M., Kappeler, A., Spichiger, A., Riedl, R.: Interoperability and information brokers in public safety: an approach toward seamless emergency communications. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 6(1), 43–60 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jacobson, D.D.: How and why network governance evolves: evidence from a public safety network. Electron. Mark. 26(1), 43–54 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gao, X., Song, Y., Zhu, X.: Integration and coordination: advancing China’s fragmented e-government to holistic governance. Gov. Inf. Q. 30(2), 173–181 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Spivak, S.M., Brenner, F.C.: Standardization Essentials: Principles and Practice. CRC Press, Boca Raton (2001)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    David, P.A., Greenstein, S.: The economics of compatibility standards: an introduction to recent research. Econ. Innov. New Technol. I(1–2), 3–41 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    De Vries, H.J.: Standardization: A business Approach to the Role of National Standardization Organizations. Springer, New York (1999). Scholar
  30. 30.
    Egyedi, T.M.: Shaping Standardization: A Study of Standards Processes and Standards Policies in the Field of Telematic Services. Delft University Press, Delft (1996)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Cargill, C.F.: Information technology Standardization: Theory, Process, and Organizations. Digital Press, Maynard (1989)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Janssen, M., Snijders, B., Herkemij, F.: A Reference Architecture for Interoperable and Adaptive Processes. In: Charalabidis, Y. (ed.) Interoperability in Digital Public Services and Administrations: Bridging E-Government and E-Business, pp. 162–179. Information Science Reference, Hershey (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Misuraca, G., Alfano, G., Viscusi, G.: Interoperability challenges for ICT-enabled governance: towards a pan-european conceptual framework. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 6(1), 95–111 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lam, W.: Barriers to e-government integration. J. Enterp. Inf. Manag. 18(5), 511–530 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hellberg, A.-S., Grönlund, Å.: Conflicts in implementing interoperability: re-operationalizing basic values. Gov. Inf. Q. 30(2), 154–162 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Blum, U.: Lessons from the past: public standardization in the spotlight. Int. J. IT Stand. Stand. Res. 3(1), 1–20 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Scholl, H.J., Klischewski, R.: E-government integration and interoperability: framing the research agenda. Int. J. Public Adm. 30(8–9), 889–920 (2005)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Guijarro, L.: Interoperability frameworks and enterprise architectures in e-government initiatives in Europe and the United States. Gov. Inf. Q. 24(1), 89–101 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Büttner, F., Bartels, U., Hamann, L., Hofrichter, O., Kuhlmann, M., Gogolla, M.: Model-driven standardization of public authority data interchange. Sci. Comput. Program. 89, 162–175 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology: SAGA-Modul Grundlagen Version de.bund 5.1.0. Interior FM, editor, Berlin (2011)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    European Commission: European Interoperability Framework (EIF) for European Public Services. European Commission E, editor, Brussels (2010)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Galbraith, J.R.: Organization design: an information processing view. Org. Eff. Center Sch. 21, 21–26 (1977)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Thompson, J.D.: Organizations in action: Social science bases of administration. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick (1967)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Williams, C.K., Karahanna, E.: Causal explanation in the coordinating process: a critical realist case study of federated it governance structures. MIS Q. 37(3), 933–964 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Okhuysen, G.A., Bechky, B.A.: Coordination in organizations: an integrative perspective. Acad. Manag. Ann. 3(1), 463–502 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Malone, T.W., Crowston, K.: The interdisciplinary study of coordination. ACM Comput. Surv. (CSUR) 26(1), 87–119 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Brown, C.V.: Horizontal mechanisms under differing IS organization contexts. MIS Q. 23(3), 421–454 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Srikanth, K., Puranam, P.: Integrating distributed work: comparing task design, communication, and tacit coordination mechanisms. Strateg. Manag. J. 32(8), 849–875 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Srikanth, K., Puranam, P.: The firm as a coordination system: evidence from software services offshoring. Org. Sci. 25(4), 1253–1271 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Bolici, F., Howison, J., Crowston, K.: Stigmergic coordination in FLOSS development teams: Integrating explicit and implicit mechanisms. Cogn. Syst. Res. 38, 14–22 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Huang, R., Zmud, R.W., Price, R.L.: Influencing the effectiveness of IT governance practices through steering committees and communication policies. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 19(3), 288–302 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Prasad, A., Heales, J., Green, P.: A capabilities-based approach to obtaining a deeper understanding of information technology governance effectiveness: evidence from IT steering committees. Int. J. Account. Inf. Syst. 11(3), 214–232 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Kellogg, K.C., Orlikowski, W.J., Yates, J.: Life in the trading zone: structuring coordination across boundaries in postbureaucratic organizations. Org. Sci. 17(1), 22–44 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Pawlowski, S.D., Robey, D.: Bridging user organizations: Knowledge brokering and the work of information technology professionals. MIS Q., 645–672 (2006)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Tanriverdi, H.: Information technology relatedness, knowledge management capability, and performance of multibusiness firms. MIS Q. 29, 311–334 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Alexander, E.R.: Interorganizational coordination: theory and practice. J. Plan. Lit. 7, 328–343 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    March, J.G., Simon, H.A.: Organizations, pp. 34–111. Wiley, Oxford (1958)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Mintzberg, H.: Structure in Fives: Designing Effective Organizations. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River (1993)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Melin, U., Axelsson, K.: Understanding organizational coordination and information systems-Mintzberg’s coordination mechanisms revisited and evaluated. In: European Conference on Information Systems Proceedings (2005)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Myers, M.D.: Qualitative research in information systems. Manag. Inf. Syst. Q. 21, 241–242 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Myers, M.D., Avison, D.E.: Qualitative Research in Information Systems: A Reader. SAGE, Newcastle upon Tyne (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Walsham, G.: Interpreting information systems in organizations. Org. Stud. 15 (1993)Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Klein, H.K., Myers, M.D.: A set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive field studies in information systems. MIS Q. 23(1), 67–93 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Goles, T., Hirschheim, R.: The paradigm is dead, the paradigm is dead…long live the paradigm: the legacy of Burrell and Morgan. Omega 28(3), 249–268 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Goldkuhl, G.: Pragmatism vs interpretivism in qualitative information systems research. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 21(2), 135–146 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Cole, R., Purao, S., Rossi, M., Sein, M.K.: Being proactive: where action research meets design research. In: ICIS 2005 Proceedings, pp. 1–21 (2005)Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Mårtensson, P., Lee, A.S.: Dialogical action research at omega corporation. MIS Q. 28, 507–536 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Wilde, T., Hess, T.: Forschungsmethoden der Wirtschaftsinformatik Eine empirische Untersuchung. Wirtschaftsinformatik 49(4), 280–287 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Boell, S., Cecez-Kecmanovic, D.: A hermeneutic approach for conducting literature reviews and literature searches. Commun. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 34(1), 257–286 (2014)Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Kotlarsky, J., Scarbrough, H., Oshri, I.: Coordinating expertise across knowledge boundaries in offshore-outsourcing projects: the role of codification. MIS Q. 38(2), 607–627 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Simon, H.A.: The Sciences of the Artificial. MIT Press, Cambridge (1969)Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Van De Ven, A.H., Delbecq, A.L., Koenig Jr., R.: Determinants of coordination modes within organizations. Am. Sociol. Rev. 41(2), 322–338 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Schelling, T.C.: The Strategy of Conflict. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1980)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Star, S.L., Griesemer, J.R.: Institutional ecology, ‘translations’ and boundary objects: amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Soc. Stud. Sci. 19(3), 387–420 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Henningsson, S., Rukanova, B., Hrastinski, S.: Resource dependencies in socio-technical information systems design research. Commun. AIS 27(42), 777–802 (2010)Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Clark, H.H.: Using Language. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Reich, B.H., Benbasat, I.: Factors that influence the social dimension of alignment between business and information technology objectives. MIS Q. 24, 81–113 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Kuldeep, K., van Dissel, H.G.: Sustainable collaboration: managing conflict and cooperation in interorganizational systems. MIS Q. 20, 279–300 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Pfeffer, J., Salancik, G.R.: The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. Harper & Row, New York (1978)Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Gregor, S.: The nature of theory in information systems. MIS Q. 30, 611–642 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.fortiss GmbHMunichGermany
  2. 2.Informatics 17 - Chair for Information SystemsTechnical University of MunichGarchingGermany

Personalised recommendations