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Explaining the resistance of data providers to open government data

Si Li (Department of Information Management, Peking University, Beijing, China)
Yi Chen (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 7 July 2021

Issue publication date: 19 July 2021




This paper explains the formation of government resistance to open data based on the cognition of stakeholders in Chinese context.


Adopting grounded theory, this study interviewed 22 stakeholders to collect data. Through continuous coding, this study identified the main categories and then constructed theoretical models.


This study identified and explained five main categories that relate to resistance: practice, perception, organizational culture, motivation and resistance strategies. Then, a framework was developed that conceptualizes the government' resistance to open data. Based on the division of the forms of motivation, there are three paths through which government departments resist open data, namely, avoiding disadvantages to the organization, being unwilling to increase the workload and being unwilling to take the initiative.


This paper reveals the internal logic of government departments' resistance to open data and provides a process explanation beyond causality. It also provides a reference for other countries in the same preliminary stage as China with respect to open data implementation.



The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. This study was funded by the National Social Science Foundation of China, Grant No.19ZDA340.


Li, S. and Chen, Y. (2021), "Explaining the resistance of data providers to open government data", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 73 No. 4, pp. 560-577.



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