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Digital Era GovernanceIT Corporations, the State, and e-Government$
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Patrick Dunleavy, Helen Margetts, Simon Bastow, and Jane Tinkler

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296194.001.0001

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Explaining Performance I: The Impact of Governance Institutions and Bureaucratic Cultures

Explaining Performance I: The Impact of Governance Institutions and Bureaucratic Cultures

(p.83) 4 Explaining Performance I: The Impact of Governance Institutions and Bureaucratic Cultures
Digital Era Governance

Patrick Dunleavy

Helen Margetts

Simon Bastow

Jane Tinkler

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at how far differences in public management and public administration factors seem to shape countries' divergent experiences with government IT development. It examines four key, qualitatively set dimensions: checks and balances in fundamental governance arrangements (we expect the absence of checks to worsen government IT performance); the openness of bureaucratic culture to technical expertise (again, a closed, non-technical bureaucracy should inhibit IT performance); the openness of each country to new public management (NPM) reforms (we expect NPM to inhibit government IT performance because of its direct effects in fragmenting government and its indirect effects in boosting the power of the IT industry); the presence of a strong, central, political-administrative push for e-government (we expect the absence of such an effort to impair government IT's development). The institutional explanatory variables do indeed show some influence on the expected lines, but they also show considerable country variance and highlight multiple ‘exceptions’ and explanatory problems.

Keywords:   new public management, public administration, information technology, checks and balances, performance, technical expertise, bureaucracy, e-government, bureaucratic culture

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