Enrolling Citizens as Informed Consumers in Quasi-markets

Agneta Ranerup, Helle Zinner Henriksen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: Many countries today, especially in Europe, provide publicly funded public services in quasi-markets. As these markets commercialize, agencies of various types are providing technologies that support citizens’ choice of services. Citizens’ use of technologies for service provision is studied as e-government under labels of channel management, e-service uptake or adoption. In contrast, by using actor–network theory (ANT), the purpose of this paper is to focus on the marketing devices that are used to enroll citizens to choose technologies in a context with large penetration of quasi-market arrangements.
Design/methodology/approach: Based on a Swedish case study, this paper uses qualitative data from 11 occurrences of technologies to support citizens’ choice (“market devices”) in education, healthcare and public pension in an analysis of the means taken (“marketing devices”) to increase their use. The study formulates a tentative typology of these devices.
Findings: The marketing devices are intended to attract citizens’ attention to the possibility of choice (e.g. catalogs, postcards and commercials), invite interaction (e.g. various social media platforms), improve the technological support in line with user needs (e.g. user participation in development), increase visibility of technological support (e.g. search optimization) or directly connect citizens to technological support (e.g. via links).
Originality/value: The paper contributes to e-government research through a typology of means taken to increase citizens’ technology use based on selected concepts from ANT, and to a discussion of technologies and humans.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology and People
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1517-1535
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Decision making
  • E-Governement
  • Adoption
  • Case study
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Actor-network theory
  • Web services

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