Open government is an important innovation to foster trustworthy and inclusive governments. The authors develop and test an integrative theoretical framework drawing from theories on policy diffusion and innovation adoption. Based on this, they investigate how structural, cultural, and environmental variables explain three dimensions of open government: accessibility, transparency, and participation. The framework is tested by combining 2014 survey data and observational data from 500 local U.S. government websites. Organizational structure, including technological and organizational capacity, is a determinant shared by all dimensions of open government. Furthermore, accessibility is affected by a mixture of an innovative and participative culture and external pressures. A flexible and innovative culture positively relates to higher levels of transparency, whereas capacity is a strong predictor of adopting participatory features. The main conclusion is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to fostering the three dimensions of open government, as each dimension is subject to a unique combination of determinants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration