Diffusion of personalised services among Dutch municipalities: evolving channels of persuasion

Vincent Homburg, AJD (Andres) Dijkshoorn, M Thaens

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In many European countries, municipalities are becoming increasingly important as providers of electronic public services to their citizens. One of the horizons for further expansion is the delivery of personalised electronic services. In this paper, we describe the diffusion of personalised services in the Netherlands over the period 2006-2009 and investigate how and why various municipalities adopted personalised electronic services. In achieving this, we analyse data that were gathered during interviews with key stakeholders in ten selected Dutch municipalities. We synthesise the findings in an explanatory model of personalised electronic service delivery diffusion. The model emphasizes persuasive pressures that are channelled to potential adopters of personalised services. Furthermore, the model shows how persuasive pressure (as perceived by adopters) is followed-up by organisational search activities, and how, in various circumstances, the idea of personalised services is ‘framed’ by innovation champions, knowledge brokers and new members of staff as to appeal to specific organisational priorities and ambitions. In doing so, this article contributes to an institutional view on adoption and diffusion of innovations, in which (1) horizontal and vertical channels of persuasion and (2) human agency, rather than technological opportunity and rational cost-benefit considerations, account for actual diffusion of innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)429-450
Number of pages21
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2013

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