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Implementing digitalization in the public sector. Technologies, agency, and governance
Public Policy and Administration  (IF3.386),  Pub Date : 2021-06-17, DOI: 10.1177/09520767211023283
Marco Di Giulio, Giancarlo Vecchi

Technological transformations are currently reshaping the structure and strategies of public administrations and are expected to foster efficiency and policy integration. However, the literature on digital government has demonstrated that the introduction of technology is far from a smooth process, as it is often associated with conflict and negative feedback. This paper departs from James Thompson’s notion of technology, understood as one of the most effective devices for organizational integration to conceptualise the context of digital innovations in the public sphere. ICTs are not all the same; they differ in their impact on intra- and inter-organizational interdependencies that are required for them to work properly in their domain. This paper introduces a typology of ICT-driven governance structures and advances hypotheses regarding the causal mechanisms underpinning successful implementation. Each type of governance structure is exemplified by an original case study of a programme of e-government reform in the Italian public sector. The empirical evidence is used to explore some implications concerning the strategies by which the programmes have been implemented and their transferability to other contexts.