Why Governing Data is Difficult: Findings from Danish Local Government

Olivia Benfeldt*, John Stouby Persson, Sabine Madsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Data governance has emerged as a promising approach for transformingorganizations. While governing data as an organizational asset has clear benefits,no previous studies have reported on the particular challenges faced bypractitioners in local government organizations. Against this backdrop, we investigatewhy it is difficult for local government organizations to explore and exploittheir data assets with data governance. Following an engaged scholarship approach,we carried out six group interviews conducted with 34 representativesfrom 13 different Danish municipalities. From the analysis, we identified ninechallenges relating to three overall themes that are critical to governing data inlocal government: (1) data value and overview, (2) data practices and collaborationand (3) data capabilities and politics. We explain how the three themes extendprevious research in data governance and e-government literature. The implicationsfor practice and directions for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Working, Living and Organising
EditorsAmany Elbanna, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Deborah Bunker, David Wastell
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer VS
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9783030043148
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
SeriesI F I P


  • Data governance
  • Public sector
  • Municipalities
  • E-government
  • Local government
  • Engaged scholarship

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