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Information sharing through inter‐organisational systems in local government

Alinaghi Ziaee Bigdeli (Cass Business School, City University London, London, UK)
Muhammad Kamal (Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Sergio de Cesare (Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 24 May 2013




The dilemma of implementing and adopting inter‐organisational systems (IOS) that enable information sharing in an electronic fashion has been regarded as an inevitable issue for the public sector. The majority of previous studies have mainly focused on Central or Federal level organisations, and more importantly applied so‐called old fashion theoretical lenses, hence failed to capture the extensive picture of information sharing in an inter‐organisational and inter‐departmental settings. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the barriers and enablers of information sharing in local level in order to clarify why sharing information in local level differs from the central/federal level, and why innovation adoption theories are not sufficient enough to explore an inter‐organisational phenomenon.


A systematic literature review on technology adoption in public sector is carried out in order to select a suitable theoretical lens. Hence, based on previous research on information sharing in public/private sector, inter‐organisational systems adoption, and inter‐departmental collaboration, the factors and participation phases that are relevant to the context of local government have been summarised and discussed.


This paper proposes a novel conceptual framework that can be used as a tool for decision‐making while sharing information electronically. The framework consists of four main levels: investigation and presentation of factors influencing EIS in LGAs based on external environment, organisational capacity, technology environment, EIS characteristics, and inter‐departmental environment; investigation and presentation of the processes that an LGA department should carry out to decide whether to share information with another department; mapping of the influential factors on the participation phases; and prioritisation of the factors influencing EIS in LGAs in different decision‐making phases.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework should be tests and validated through empirical cases, focusing on inter‐departmental collaboration in local level.


From theoretical perspective, almost none of the previous research have investigated the effectiveness of DOI or TOE in studying the adoption of inter‐organisational innovation. Also, they have failed to examine and prioritise the importance of the factor influencing EIS on the participation phases.



Ziaee Bigdeli, A., Kamal, M. and de Cesare, S. (2013), "Information sharing through inter‐organisational systems in local government", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 148-176.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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