Engaged Scholarship in Research on Information Technology in Government: Stuck in the Ivory Tower?

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    As the research body on information technology (IT) in government aims at consolidation, it faces one of the common fundamental challenges of scholarly research: how to fill the theory–practice gap, and to contribute to knowledge and practice through means of partnership with stakeholders, co-creation, and action research. Using Van de Ven's framework of ‘engaged scholarship’, this paper reports an analysis of 55 empirical studies on impacts of IT in government published in international journals in the period 2003–2009, assessing the presence of stakeholder involvement in the problem formulations, theory building, research designs, and problem solving of the studies. Findings show that fewer than a quarter of the studies considered are based on some form of engagement with key stakeholders, and that half of these describe or explain public sector IT processes from a detached and external perspective. The paper concludes by providing inputs for a discussion on the role of engaged scholarship in research on IT in the public sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInformation, Communication & Society
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)246-259
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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