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Adapting bureaucracy to the Internet. The case of Venice Local Government

Adapting bureaucracy to the Internet. The case of Venice Local Government This paper is based on empirical research on the implementation of a series of online services inspired by the logic of the 'social web' in the City of Venice. The empirical research focuses on IRIS, an online platform where citizens can report urban maintenance problems by posting a message on a web page and expect an almost instant reply by local government. The theoretical focus of the paper is the effect that the implementation of web services that require an "Internet-time" response has on the bureaucratic structure of government. The research is mainly based on expert interviews and describes the managers' and representatives' interpretations and sensemaking realized in order to manage the implementation of this kind of Internet service. The paper presents a theoretical analysis of the empirical data and attempts to assess how the provision of an Internet-time service, such as IRIS, and the development of an effective interactive web platform by a local government influences the structure of government. The analysis highlights that the use of this type of technology implies a redefinition of the Weberian structural elements of bureaucracy, such as the principles of legitimacy, hierarchy and specialization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

Adapting bureaucracy to the Internet. The case of Venice Local Government

Information Polity , Volume 16 (1) – Jan 1, 2011

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by IOS Press, Inc
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
DOI
10.3233/IP-2011-0226
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper is based on empirical research on the implementation of a series of online services inspired by the logic of the 'social web' in the City of Venice. The empirical research focuses on IRIS, an online platform where citizens can report urban maintenance problems by posting a message on a web page and expect an almost instant reply by local government. The theoretical focus of the paper is the effect that the implementation of web services that require an "Internet-time" response has on the bureaucratic structure of government. The research is mainly based on expert interviews and describes the managers' and representatives' interpretations and sensemaking realized in order to manage the implementation of this kind of Internet service. The paper presents a theoretical analysis of the empirical data and attempts to assess how the provision of an Internet-time service, such as IRIS, and the development of an effective interactive web platform by a local government influences the structure of government. The analysis highlights that the use of this type of technology implies a redefinition of the Weberian structural elements of bureaucracy, such as the principles of legitimacy, hierarchy and specialization.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2011

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