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Journal Article

E‑government Policy Formation … Understanding the roles of change drivers, veto players and advocacy coalitions  pp130-140

William Linnefell, Anette Hallin, Mikael Lagergren

© Dec 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECEG 2014, Editor: Frank Banister, pp95 - 207

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Abstract: Despite its promise of increasing public authorities effectiveness, improving decision making and service delivery, e‑government initiatives too often fail. So far, reasons for this have largely been sought in technological aspects of e‑governm ent. However, e‑government is much more complex than that; e‑government also encompasses aspects related to the inner workingsŽ of organizations, policy formation processes and change management. Based on an in‑depth case study of an e‑government policy formation process in the municipality of Vasteras, Sweden, this paper sets out to develop the understanding of e‑government policy failure by elucidating how individuals actions, behaviors and decision affect endeavors to improve e‑government policy agen das. Applying theoretical concepts from political science and the change management literature, this paper describes how a change driver attempted to accomplish fundamental changes in the policy area of e‑government, through involving as many stakeholder s as possible in the policy formation process, and how this enabled for the emergence of a new advocacy coalition. This advocacy coalition consisted of the actors involved in the policy formation process, and these actors espoused the policy belief advoca ted by the change driver. However, as time went by, it became apparent that there also existed several veto players, which the change driver failed to engage, and who actively blocked the attempt to get the new policy documents on e‑government adopted. A s a consequence, the policy formation process failed, despite that the municipality of Vasteras had exceptionally good conditions for improving the e‑government policy agenda. This case study highlights the need for e‑government‑research to look beyond th eoretical areas of technological science, and it illustrates the usefulness of theories from political science and change management when furthering the knowledge of e‑government. It also points to the need for more processual studies on policy formation processes.


Keywords: Keywords: e-government, policy formation process, the municipality of Vasteras, veto players, advocacy coalitions, change processes, change drivers


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