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Why is it so challenging to cultivate open government data?: Understanding impediments from an ecosystem perspective
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Information Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: This compilation licentiate thesis focuses on open government data (OGD). The thesis is based on three papers. OGD is a system that is organized when publishers collect and share data with users, who can unrestrictedly reuse the data. In my research, I have explored why it can be challenging to cultivate OGD. Cultivation is human activities that change, encourage, or guide human organizations towards a higher purpose by changing, introducing, managing, or removing conditions. Here, the higher purpose is OGD to realize believed benefits. Thus, OGD cultivation is an attempt to stimulate actors into organizing as OGD.

Problem and Purpose: OGD is believed to lead to several benefits. However, the worldwide OGD movement has slowed down, and researchers have noted a lack of use. Publishers and users are experiencing a set of different impediments that are challenging to solve. In previous research, there is a need for more knowledge about what can impede the OGD organization, cause non-valuable organizing, or even collapse the organization. At the same time, there is a lack of knowledge about how impediments shape the organization of OGD. This gap can make it hard to solve and overcome the impediments experienced by publishers and users. The sought-after knowledge can bring some understanding of the current situation of OGD. In this research, I have viewed the organization of OGD as an ecosystem. The purpose of this thesis is to draw lessons about why it can be challenging to cultivate OGD ecosystems by understanding OGD impediments from an ecosystem perspective.

Research Design: I set out to explore OGD through qualitative research from 2016 to 2018. My research started with a pilot case study that led to three studies. The studies are each reported in a paper and the papers form the base of this thesis. The first paper aims to stimulate the conceptually oriented discussion about actors’ roles in OGD by developing a framework that was tested on a Swedish public agency. The second paper has the purpose of expanding the scope surrounding impediments and was based in a review and systematization of previous research about OGD impediments. The third paper presents an exploration of impediments experienced by publishers, users, and cultivators in the Swedish national OGD ecosystem to identify faults. From the three papers, lessons were drawn in turn and together, that are presented in this thesis.

Findings: Cultivators when cultivating OGD ecosystems are facing towering challenges. The following three main challenges are identified in this thesis: (1) to cultivate a system that can manage stability by itself without constant involvement, (2) to cultivate a system that is capable of evolving towards a “greater good” by itself, and (3) to have an up-to-date precise vocabulary for a self-evolving system that enables inter-subjective understand for coordinating problem-solving.

Contribution: The theoretical contribution of this thesis is that OGD ecosystems can be viewed as a public utility. Moreover, I recommend that researchers approach the organizing of OGD as the cultivation of evolution, rather than the construction of a structure; to consider the stability of the system in growth, value, and participation; and to be cautious with how they label and describe OGD actors. For actors that are cultivating OGD, I recommend that they guide the OGD actors to help them organize; view OGD cultivation as the management of evolution (growth) towards a purpose; and view cultivation as a collaborative effort where they can supply ideas, technologies, practices, and expertise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2019. , p. 80
Series
Faculty of Arts and Sciences thesis, ISSN 1401-4637 ; 124
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Information Systems, Social aspects Human Aspects of ICT Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156053DOI: 10.3384/lic.diva-156053ISBN: 9789176850992 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-156053DiVA, id: diva2:1301727
Presentation
2019-04-25, TEMCAS, T-huset, Linköpings universitet, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The series name in the thesis Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences thesis is incorrect. The correct series name is FiF-avhandling.

Available from: 2019-04-02 Created: 2019-04-02 Last updated: 2019-05-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Investigating open government data barriers: A literature review and conceptualization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating open government data barriers: A literature review and conceptualization
2018 (English)In: Electronic Government: EGOV 2018 / [ed] Parycek P., Springer Verlag , 2018, p. 169-183Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When focusing on open government data (OGD) publishing and related barriers, there are several complexities present. Largely, current research is focused on publishing and usage of OGD; and we argue that there are a need to investigate and to systematise OGD barrier research in order to understand and outline an expanded scope of the phenomenon. We expand by clarifying barriers linked to the release decision and the data’s organisational context. To investigate the OGD barriers, we conduct a systematic literature review, identifying 34 articles as a point of departure for our analysis. From these articles we create, present and discuss illustrations on historical development, barrier types, and different research focuses on OGD. When analysing the articles, we identify a focus on technical, organisational, and legal barrier types, while studies on open data usage and systems are less frequent. Our analysis also identifies some possible open data research barriers. In the article we also relate barriers to an expanded OGD process (Suitability, Release, Publish, Use, and Evaluation), identifying 46 barriers with possible linkages. The results is an expanded scope and a conceptual illustration of OGD barriers. © IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2018.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Verlag, 2018
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349 ; 11020
Keywords
Barriers, Challenges, Impediments, Literature review, Myths, OGD, Open data, Open government data, Process, Risks, Government data processing, Processing, Literature reviews, Open datum, Reviews
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151311 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-98690-6_15 (DOI)2-s2.0-85052893750 (Scopus ID)978-3-319-98689-0 (ISBN)978-3-319-98690-6 (ISBN)
Conference
EGOV 2018, Electronic Government
Available from: 2018-09-17 Created: 2018-09-17 Last updated: 2019-04-02

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