The role of ICT, skills and organizational change in public sector performance

Antonello Zanfei, Paolo Seri


This paper accounts for recent developments in the literature on public sector innovation and offers some insights on the conceptual and empirical issues that are raised to evaluate the complementarity between ICT adoption and performance in the case of public administrations. From this perspective, three separate sets of conceptual and empirical issues need be tackled. First, one has to address the analytical problem of measuring performance in the case of public sector. Second, one needs to evaluate the specific role of ICT in modernizing the public sector. Third, the interactions between ICT, organizational change and skills should be examined more explicitly to assess their joint impact on public sector performance.

Parole chiave

Public Sector Innovation, ICTs, Organizational Change, Skills

Full Text


Riferimenti bibliografici

Antonioli, D., Mazzanti, M., Pini, P., (2010). Productivity, innovation strategies and industrial relations in SMEs. Empirical evidence for a local production system in northern Italy. International Review of Applied Economics 24 (4), 453–482

Arduini, D., Belotti, F., Denni, F., Giungato, G., Zanfei, A., (2010), “Technology adoption and innovation in public services. The case of e-government in Italy” Information Economics and Policy, 22, 257-275

Arundel A., Huber D. (2013) From too little to too much innovation? Issues in measuringinnovation in the public sector, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 27 (4)146-159

Ashaye, T., (2001), “Recent developments in the measurement of general government output”, Economic Trends, 76, 41-44.

Bartel, A., C. Ichniowski, C., Shaw. K., (2007), “How Does Information Technology Affect Productivity? Plant-Level Comparisons of Product Innovation, Process Improvement, and Worker Skills”, QuarterlyJournal of Economics, 122(4), 1721-1758.

Baumol, W., (1967), “Macroeconomics of unbalanced growth : the anatomy of urban crisis”, The American Economic Review, 3, 415-426.

Baxter, M., (2000), “Developments in the measurement of general government output”, Economic Trends, 562, 3-5.

Biagi, F. and Loi, M., (2013), “Measuring ICT Use and Learning Outcomes: evidence from recent econometric studies”, European Journal of Education, 48(1), 28 – 42.

Bocquet, R., Brossard, O. and Sabatier, M., (2007), Complementarities in organizational design and the diffusion of information technologies: An empirical analysis, Research Policy, 36(3), 367-386.

Brynjolfsson, E., Renshaw, A., Alstyne, M.V., 1997. ‘The matrix of change’, Sloan Management Review, 38, 22-40.

Caldas, A., David P.A. and Ormanidhi O.. 2005. Digital Information Network Technologies, Organizational Performance and Productivity: an Exploration of IT Diffusion in Europe’s Public Sector. (Oxford Internet Institute Working Paper (October).

Capgemini, IDC, Rand Europe, Sogeti and DTi (2010) Digitizing Public Services in Europe: Putting ambition into action, 9th Benchmark Measurement, European Commission, Directorate General for Information Society and Media, Bruxelles.

Caroli, E., J. Van Reenen. 2001. Skill-biased organizational change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116, 1449-1492.

Cepparulo A., Arduini D., Reggi L., Zanfei A., (2013), Patterns of e-service development across European cities, 2nd EIBURS-TAIPS Conference on Innovation in the public sector and the development of e-services, University of Urbino, April 18-19

Dean, E., (2009), “International comparisons of non marketed output: the role of productivity data”, Worldbank,

Djellal F. and Gallouj F. (2008), Measuring and improving productivity in services : issues, strategies and challenges, Edward Elgar Publishers.

Dunleavy, P., Margetts, H., Bastow, S. and Tinkler, J. (2006) “Digital Era Governance”. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Ebbers, W. E. and Van Dijk, J.A.G.M., (2007), “Resistance and support to electronic government, building a model of innovation.” Government Information Quarterly, 24: 554-575.

EC (European Commission) (2013) European Public Sector Innovation Scoreboard 2013 – A pilot exercise, European Union, DG Enterprise and Industry, Bruxelles

Eurostat (2001), Handbook of price and volume measures in national accounts, European Commission.

Fuchs, T. and Wößmann, L., (2007), “What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data”, Empirical Economics, 32, 433 – 464.

Garicano, L., & Heaton, P. (2010), Information Technology, Organisation, and Productivity in the Public Sector: Evidence from Police Departments, Journal of Labour Economics, 28(1), 167 – 201.

Goldfinch, S., (2007), “Pessimism, Computer Failure, and Information Systems Development in the Public Sector”, Public Administration Review, 67(5), 917–929.

Griliches, Z. (ed), (1984), Output measurement in the service sectors, The University of Chicago Press.

Handler H, Koebel B, Reiss P, Schratzenstaller M (2005) The size and performance of public sector activities in Europe, WIFO (Osterreichisches Institut Für Wirstschaftsforschung), Working Papers n° 246.

Jaccard, J., Turrisi, R., 2003. Interaction Effects in Multiple Regression, second ed. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.

Jorgenson, D.W., (2010), Designing a New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 631(1), 63-74.

Jorgenson, D.W., Ho, M.S., and Stiroh, (2005), A Retrospective Look at the U.S. Productivity Growth Resurgence, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 22(1), 3–24.

Linna P., Pekkola S., Ukko J., and Melkas H., (2010), “Defining and measuring productivity in the public sector: managerial perceptions”, International Journal of Public Sector Management, 23(3), 300-320.

Luu, K. & Freeman, J. G., (2011), “An analysis of the relationship between information and communication technology (ICT) and scientific literacy in Canada and Austria”, Computers & Education, 56, 1072–1082.

Machin S. & McNally S. & Silva O., (2007), “New Technology in Schools: Is There a Payoff?”, Economic Journal, 117(522), 1145-1167, 07.

Murray, R., (2010), “Measuring Output from the Public Sector: A Critical Examination of the Atkinson Review”, Review of Income and Wealth, 56(2), 413-423.

Notten, N. & Kraaykamp, G., (2009), “Home media and science performance: a cross national study”, Educational Research and Evaluation, 15, 367–384.

OECD (1999) Productivity measurement in the general government sector, Expert meeting, 18-19 mars, Paris, PUMA/HRM/M(99)1.

OECD, (2009), PISA Data Analysis Manual:SPSS, Second Edition (Paris, OECD).

Pencarelli T., Cioppi M., Forlani F. (2015) L’impatto del web 2.0 sul marketing delle piccole imprese alberghiere, Piccola Impresa/Small Business, n.2

Pini P. (2014) L’Europa e le sue "raccomandazioni" perverse, Argomenti, vol. 40, pp. 5-24

Pritchard, A., (2003), Understanding government output and productivity, Economic Trends, 596, 27-40.

Seri, P., Bianchi, A. and Matteucci N,, (2014), “Diffusion and Use of Public e-services in Europe: An Assessment of Country Level Indicators”, Telecommunication Policy, 38(5,6), 496–513.

Seri, P., Zanfei A. (2013) “The Co-evolution of ICT, Skills and Organization in Public Administrations: Evidence from new European country-level data”, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 27(4) 160-76

Serrano Cinca C., Mar Molinero C., Bossi Queiroz. A. (2003) "The measurement of intangible assets in public sector using scaling techniques", Journal of Intellectual Capital, 4(2), 249 - 275

Simpson, H. (2009), "Productivity in public services", Journal of Economic Surveys, 23 (2), 250-276.

Sorrentino, M., (2004), The Implementation Of ICT In Public Sector Organisations. Analysing Selection Criteria For eGovernment Projects Abstract, Proceedings of 17th Bled eCommerce Conference, Bled, Slovenia, June 21–23.

Spiezia,V., (2010), “Does computer use increase educational achievements? Student level Evidence from PISA”, OECD Journal: Economic Studies, 2010.

United Nations, (2012), EGovernment Survey 2012, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Geneva

Van de Donk, I. and Stellen, W., (1998), Public administration in an information age: a handbook, IOS Press, Amsterdam.

Van Reenen J.V, Bloom N., Draca M., Kretschmer T., Sadun R. (2010), The Economic Impact of ICT, Final Report, CEP, London

Worldbank-Global Office, (2011), “ICP-2011-Government

Collective Services, Compensation and Productivity Adjustments”,



  • Non ci sono refbacks, per ora.

Argomenti. Rivista di economia, cultura e ricerca sociale è una pubblicazione dell'Università di Urbino realizzata in collaborazione con la CNA delle Marche. Lo sviluppo e la manutenzione di questa installazione di OJS sono forniti da UniURB Open Journals, gestito dal Servizio Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo. E-ISSN 1971-8357 (Online). Registrazione presso il Tribunale di Urbino n. 4/2015.

 Licenza Creative CommonsSe non diversamente indicato, i contenuti di questa rivista sono pubblicati sotto licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione 4.0 Internazionale.