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E‐government adoption in small Italian municipalities

Pietro Previtali (Business Research Department, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy)
Francesco Bof (SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 29 May 2009




The purpose of this paper is to explore the level of e‐government adoption in small Italian municipalities, in coherence with the action plans suggested by the main National Institution on the subject.


The following setting is used: of 8,101 Italian municipalities, the majority (72 per cent) represent small municipalities accounting for 10,590,728 inhabitants out of a total of 58,571,711 nationally. Adopting an empirical approach, a survey was conducted on 49 small municipalities, through a questionnaire and in‐depth interviews with political and managerial decision makers and IT officers.


The survey suggests some technical reasons concerning a lack of infrastructure and IT services (e.g. back‐up, security, disaster recovery) and some managerial reasons related both to a lack of strategic vision of information needs and to an inadequacy of requested skills and competencies.

Research limitations/implications

The research reported here is based only on a survey of 49 small municipalities located in a single area. The findings may lead to further research on a large sample of municipalities located in several geographic areas.

Practical implications

The findings imply that small municipalities will have to redefine their programme priorities to respond to a new IT context.


In spite of the efforts by both Government and the EU, the qualitative‐quantitative results show that the adoption of e‐government has not progressed in small Italian municipalities.



Previtali, P. and Bof, F. (2009), "E‐government adoption in small Italian municipalities", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 338-348.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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