The Sustainable Value of Open Government Data

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Building on the promise of open data, government agencies support a continuously growing number of open data initiatives that are driven mainly by expectations of unprecedented value generation from an underutilized resource. Although data, in general, have undoubtedly become an essential resource for the economy, it has remained largely unclear how, or even whether, open data repositories generate any significant value. We addressed this void with a study that examines how sustainable value is generated from open data. Subsequently, we developed a model that explains how open data generate sustainable value through two underlying mechanisms. The first, the information sharing mechanism, explicates how open data are beneficial to forging informational content that creates value for society through increased transparency and improved decision-making. The second, the market mechanism, explicates how open data are beneficial as a resource in products and services offered on the market, as well as how open data are used to make processes more efficient or to satisfy previously unmet needs. We tested and validated the model using PLS with secondary quantitative data from 76 countries. The study provides empirical support to the conjecture that openness of data as well as the digital governance and digital infrastructure in a country have a positive effect on the country’s level of sustainable value. Overall, the study provides empirical evidence in favor of nurturing open data culture and insights about the conditions that support turning it into sustainable value for the benefit of citizens, business organizations, and society at large.
TidsskriftJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)702-734
Antal sider33
StatusUdgivet - 2019


  • Open data
  • Government data
  • Sustainable value
  • Information sharing mechanisms
  • Market mechanisms