Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Partnership working in local electronic government

By Sarah Helen Cotterill


This research explores how English local authorities and their partners work together on electronic government. E-government is the use of computer technologies by government to transform the provision of services and information, improve internal organisation, encourage citizen participation and promote sharing between partners.\ud \ud In the UK and elsewhere there is increasing emphasis on public sector organisations working together in local partnerships. Partnerships can potentially encourage the delivery of joined-up services to citizens, promote democracy and improve public policy making, but partnership working is not always easy and can be challenging for the individuals and organisations involved.\ud \ud This thesis addresses the research question: "How can local authorities and their partners work together to successfully implement electronic government? " The\ud research is based on a systematic literature review and comparative case studies of three sub-regional e-government partnerships, using a mixed methods approach. The literature review covers local governance, e-government, public sector partnerships, dissemination of best practice and social networks. In each case study social network data was collected from participants using a short\ud questionnaire to ascertain who they dealt with in relation to e-government. This data was analysed using social network software and then used during qualitative\ud interviews and workshops to generate discussion.\ud \ud A model of partnership effectiveness has been developed which identifies network structure, governance, maturity and context as four themes contributing to the success of local e-government partnerships. Network structure influences effectiveness in three ways: cohesion amongst the partners encourages organisational learning; a central core agency is important to ensure that partnership ideas reach fruition; opinion leaders come up with good ideas and can mobilise others. Governance includes the existence of a clear shared vision and strategy, the commitment of leaders, accountability and getting the right people\ud involved. Maturity refers to a stable group of people from different perspectives working together over time, facing challenges and persevering. Councils with smaller populations have more to gain from partnership working because they lack the capacity to develop e-government solutions alone. The study contributes to academic research by developing a theoretical model of the factors contributing to effective e-government partnerships. This is the first study to examine how public organisations network together on e-government and the methodological approach is novel in research into UK local governance

Publisher: Leeds University Business School
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2004). A Paradigmatic and Methodological Examination of Information Systems From doi
  2. (1995). A Preliminary Theory of Interorganizational Effectiveness: doi
  3. (1999). A Set of Principles for Conducting and Evaluating Interpretive Field Studies in Information Systems. doi
  4. (2004). A Two-Stage Model of E-Government Growth: Theories and Empirical Evidence for Us Cities. doi
  5. (2005). Adoption of a Focal Production Innovation Within a Supply Network (Unpublished paper developed by invitation from a paper presented to the
  6. (2004). Adoption of promising practices: a systematic review of the evidence. doi
  7. (2005). Advancing E-Government at the Grassroots: Tortoise or Hare? doi
  8. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. doi
  9. (2003). Building the Virtual State... Or Not? A Critical Appraisal. doi
  10. (1989). Building Theories from Case Study Research. doi
  11. (2003). Capacity and E-government Performance: An Analysis Based on Early Adopters of Internet Technologies in New Jersey. doi
  12. (2003). Case Study Research Design and Methods. Third edn,
  13. (1979). Centrality in Social Networks: Conceptual Clarification. doi
  14. (2003). Changing Public Service Organizations: Current Perspectives and Future Prospects. doi
  15. (2007). Citizens as Customers: Exploring the Future of doi
  16. (1996). County Impact Fee Adoptions as Policy Innovations: A Search for Theory. doi
  17. (2000). Defining the Social Network of a Strategic Alliance.
  18. (2003). Delivering Devolved Approaches to Local Governance. doi
  19. (2003). Developing Frameworks for Examining Community Participation in a Multi-Level Environment. doi
  20. (2005). Does Managerial Orientation Matter? The Adoption of Reinventing Government and E-government at the Municipal Level. doi
  21. (2003). E-Democracy: Potential for Political Revolution?
  22. (2003). E-Government and Social Exclusion: An Empirical Study. doi
  23. (1985). Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. doi
  24. (2007). EGovernment Field Force Automation: Promises, Challenges and Stakeholders. doi
  25. (2003). Electronic government at the local level: Progress to date and future issues. doi
  26. (2004). Electronic Local Government and the Modernisation Agenda: Progress and Prospects for Public Service Improvement. doi
  27. (2003). Ethical and Strategic Issues in Organizational Social Network Analysis. doi
  28. (2004). Evaluating the Best Value Framework in UK Local Government Services. doi
  29. (2003). Examining Pre-Adoption Interest in Online Innovations: an Exploratory Study of E-Service Personalization in the Public Sector. doi
  30. (2004). Explaining the Adoption of E-Government Features -a Case Study of Iowa County Treasurers' Offices. doi
  31. (2001). Friends and Strategic Agents: The Role of Friendship and Discretion in Negotiating Strategic Alliances. doi
  32. (2001). Gauging E-Government: a Report on Implementing Services Among American Cities. doi
  33. (1998). Governance as Theory: Five Propositions. doi
  34. (2003). Governing Communities: Parish-Pump Politics or Strategic Partnerships? Local Government Studies doi
  35. (2003). Health and Local Government Partnerships: the Local Government Policy Context. Local Government Studies doi
  36. (1996). Human Factors in Adoption of Geographic Information Systems: a Local Government Case Study. doi
  37. (2003). Implementing Local e-Government: a Literature Review.
  38. (2004). Innovation in Innovation? The Technology Enactment Framework. doi
  39. (1994). Integrating Case Study and Survey Research Methods: An Example in Information Systems. doi
  40. (2002). Interfirm Alliances in the Small Business: The Role of Social Networks. doi
  41. (2004). Interorganizational Partnerships as Inchoate Hierarchies: A Case doi
  42. (2004). Introduction to special issue: Innovation and Productivity Performance in the UK. doi
  43. (2006). Invitations to councils in England to make proposals for future unitary structures and to pioneer, as pathfinders, new two-tier models. http: //www. communities. gov. uk/pub/93/lnvitationtocouncilsi nEngland_id 150 4093. pdf.
  44. (2002). Leading and Learning? Knowledge Transfer doi
  45. (2002). Learning in Dynamic Inter-Firm Networks: the Efficacy of Multiple Contacts. doi
  46. (2004). Like a Horse and Carriage or a Fish on a Bicycle: How Well Do Local Partnerships and Public Participation Go Together? Local Government Studies 30,51-73. doi
  47. (2001). Local Government: Balancing Diversity and Uniformity. doi
  48. (2004). Local Government: Choice Within Constraint. doi
  49. (2000). Making a Reality of Evidence-Based Practice: Some Lessons From the Diffusion of Innovations. doi
  50. (2002). Making Invisible Work Visible: Using Social Network Analysis to Support Strategic Collaboration. doi
  51. (2005). Managing to Collaborate: the theory and practice of collaborative advantage. doi
  52. (1998). Measuring Network Structure. doi
  53. (2002). Mimicry and the Market: Adoption of a New Organizational Form. doi
  54. (2004). Modernisation, Managerialism and the Culture Wars: Reshaping the Local Welfare State in England. doi
  55. (2004). Networking and Innovation: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. doi
  56. (2003). New Forms of Local Accountability: Coming to Terms With 'Many Hands'? Policy and Politics doi
  57. (2001). New Labour and the Modernisation of British Local Government: A Critique. doi
  58. (1999). New Technologies and the Modernization of Local Government: an Analysis of Biases and Constraints. doi
  59. ODPM (2005a) Local e-Government Partnerships. London :
  60. (2003). One Year On: The National Strategy for Local E-government.
  61. (2002). Partnership Working in Delivering Social Inclusion: Organizational and Gender Dynamics. doi
  62. (2006). Partnerships and the Limits to Local Governance in England: References 274 Institutionalist Analysis and Neoliberalism. doi
  63. (2002). Policy Transfer Among Local Governments: an Information-Theory Approach. doi
  64. (1999). Public Participation and the Democratic Renewal Agenda: Prioritisation or Marginalisation? Local Government Studies doi
  65. (2006). Public Value Management: A New Narrative for Networked Governance? doi
  66. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis - An Expanded Sourcebook. Second edn, doi
  67. (2000). Qualitative Methods doi
  68. (2004). Questionnaire used to assess social networks for innovation sharing in water industry (unpublished).
  69. (2003). Re-Engaging Citizens and Councils: the Importance of the Councillor to Enhanced Citizen Involvement. doi
  70. (1999). Rebuilding Trust in Central/Local Relations: Policy or Passion. doi
  71. References 277 ODPM (2004a) The future of local government: Developing a 10 year vision .
  72. (2002). Reinventing local governments and the E-government initiative. doi
  73. (2003). Rigor in Information Systems Positivist Case Research: Current Practices, Trends and Recommendations.
  74. (2000). Social Exclusion - New Language, New Challenges for Local Authorities. doi
  75. (1994). Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. doi
  76. (2001). Social Research Methods. Chapter 15'Interviewing in Qualitative Research' doi
  77. (2000). Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis. doi
  78. (2003). Sticky Knowledge: Barriers to Knowing in the Firm. doi
  79. (2004). Style Leadership for English Local Government? Public Administration Review doi
  80. (2001). Supporting Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Social Networks. doi
  81. (2002). Systematic Reviews: What Have They Got to Offer Evidence Based Policy and Practice? ESRC UK Centre for Evidence Policy and Practice: Working Paper 2. http: //www. evidencenetwork. org/Documents/wp2. pdf (date accessed 10/11/04).
  82. (2001). The Acquisition and Utilization of Information in New Product Alliances: A Strength-of-Ties Perspective. doi
  83. (1995). The Art of Case Study Research. doi
  84. (2004). The Changing Structure of American Cities: doi
  85. (2002). The Competent Boundary Spanner. doi
  86. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  87. (2000). The Duality of Collaboration: Inducements and Opportunities in the Formation of Interfirm Linkages. doi
  88. (2003). The Joy of Joining up: Modes of Integrating the Local Government Modernisation Agenda. Environment and Planning C- doi
  89. (2004). The Modernisation of Local Decision Making: Public Participation and Scottish Local Government. doi
  90. (2002). The National Strategy for Local E-government.
  91. (2003). The Network Paradigm in Organizational Research: A Review and Typology. doi
  92. (2000). The Policy and Politics of Best Value: Currents, Crosscurrents and Undercurrents in the New Regime. doi
  93. (2002). The Social Relations of Organisational Activity and the New Local Governance in the UK. doi
  94. (1982). The Social Structure of Competition. doi
  95. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. doi
  96. (2003). Towards a Methodology for Developing Evidence-Informed Management by Means of Systematic Review. doi
  97. (2007). Transformational Government? The Role of Information Technology in Delivering Citizen-Centric Local Public Services. doi
  98. (2004). Transforming Local Governance: From Thatcherism to New Labour. Hampshire: doi
  99. Two Years On: Realising the Benefits From Our Investment in Egovernment.
  100. (2002). Ucinet for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis.
  101. (2001). UK Local Action Zones and Changing Urban Governance. doi
  102. (2007). Understanding Governance: Ten Years On. doi
  103. (2004). Using Multiple Informants in Public Administration: Revisiting the Managerial Values and Actions Debate. doi
  104. (2004). Value Creation and the UK Economy: A Review of Strategic Options. doi
  105. (1999). Where do Interorganizational Networks Come From? doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.