Explaining the Behavioral Intention towards BI Implementation in Public Administrations – A Principal-Agent Theory Approach

  • Jörg Becker
  • Philipp Bergener
  • Łukasz Lis
  • Björn Niehaves
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5693)


Business Intelligence (BI) is an established instrument to support public administrations in their management tasks by increasing their information level. BI is of special interest in the context of introducing accrual accounting in public administrations as this affects the information level of different stakeholders, leading to a possible decrease for municipal councils. The principal-agent theory can help to explain different behavioral intentions of the stakeholders concerning the introduction of BI. We employ a single qualitative case study to analyze these behavioral intentions. It shows that the introduction of accrual accounting did decrease the information level of the municipal council making the principal-agent problems possible. Furthermore, it shows that BI might be a solution for this problem. Therefore, council members show the behavioral intention to support the BI implementation while administration staff members rather resist it. Based on these finding, we discuss implications for practice and future research.


eGovernment Business Intelligence Empirical Study Organizational Change Principal-Agent Theory 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bozeman, B., Bretschneider, S.: Public management information systems: theory and prescription. Public Administration Review 46, 475–487 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Waterman, R.W., Meier, K.J.: Principal-Agent Models: An Expansion? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 8, 173–202 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hood, C.: The ‘New Public Management’ in the 1980s: Variations on a Theme. Accounting, Organizations and Society 20, 93–109 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Power, M., Laughlin, R.: Critical theory and accounting. In: Alvesson, M., Wilmott, H. (eds.) Critical Management Studies, pp. 113–135. Sage, Thousand Oaks (1992)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moe, T.M.: The New Economics of Organization. American Journal of Political Science 28, 739–777 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dinev, T., Hu, Q.: The Centrality of Awareness in the Formation of User Behavioral Intention toward Protective Information Technology. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 8, 386–408 (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Carter, L., Bélanger, F.: The utilization of e-government services: citizen trust, innovation and acceptance factors. Information Systems Journal 15, 5–25 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chappelet, J.L.: The appropriation of e-mail and the Internet by members of the Swiss Parliament. Information Polity: The International Journal of Government & Democracy in the Information Age 9, 89–102 (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Narro, A.J., Mayo, C., Miller, A.F.: Legislators and constituents: Examining demographics and online communication tools. Information Polity: The International Journal of Government & Democracy in the Information Age 13, 153–165 (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jensen, M., Meckling, W.: Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs, and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics 3, 305–360 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Perrow, C.: Complex organizations. Random House, New York (1986)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eisenhardt, K.M.: Agency Theory: An Assessment and Review. The Academy of Management Review 14, 57–74 (1989)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Demski, J., Feltham, G.: Economic Incentives in Budgetary Control Systems. Accounting Review 53, 336–359 (1978)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Alchian, A., Demsetz, H.: Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization. American Economic Review 62, 777–795 (1972)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Akerlof, G.A.: The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics 84, 488–500 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jensen, M.: Organization Theory and methodology. Accounting Review 56, 319–338 (1983)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fama, E.: Agency problems and the theory of the firm. Journal of Political Economy 88, 288–307 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Niskanen, W.A.: Bureaucrats and politicians. Journal of Law and Economics 18, 617–643 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mitnick, B.M.: The Theory of Agency: The Policing “Paradox” and Regulatory Behavior. Public Choice 24, 27–42 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Luhn, H.P.: A Business Intelligence System. IBM Journal of Research and Development 2, 314–319 (1958)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Power, D.J.: A Brief History of Decision Support Systems, http://DSSResources.COM/history/dsshistory.html
  22. 22.
    Shim, J.P., Warkentin, M., Courtney, J.F., Power, D.J., Sharda, R., Carlsson, C.: Past, present, and future of decision support technology. Decision Support Systems 33, 111–126 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Benbasat, I., Goldstein, D.K., Mead, M.: The Case Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems. MIS Quarterly 11, 369–386 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lee, A.S.: A Scientific Methodology for MIS Case Studies. MIS Quarterly 13, 33–52 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yin, R.K.: Case study research. Sage, Thousands Oaks (2003)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Silva, L., Hirschheim, R.: Fighting against Windmills: Strategic Information Systems and Organizational Deep Structures. MIS Quarterly 31, 327–354 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Becker
    • 1
  • Philipp Bergener
    • 1
  • Łukasz Lis
    • 1
  • Björn Niehaves
    • 1
  1. 1.European Research Center for Information SystemsUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

Personalised recommendations