Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "ICT-based networked governance"

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors


Business networks have become of critical importance in the private sector for the design and production of complex products and services. They consist of different and heterogeneous organizations which cooperate for the design, production, buying, selling and distribution of complex products and services. Business networks have become particularly important in the modern economy due to a fundamental change in the way firms design and implement innovation: while previously this was predominantly an internal task, in the last decade it has increasingly become a more ‘open’ and collaborative process, involving extensive interactions with other cooperating firms and operating open electronic markets. Since business networks involve extensive exchange of information and knowledge among their members, and also require coordination of their activities, information and communication technologies (ICT) are of critical importance for supporting their operation, contributing significantly to the reduction of operating costs and increase in their efficiency and effectiveness.
Network forms of organization are also important to understanding the operation of the public sector. Service delivery networks are the oldest and most common public sector networks, aiming to deliver specific services to a client population with high quality and reasonable cost through traditional intergovernmental arrangements or through networks of non-profit (or sometimes for-profit) service providers linked by contract to a government agency. More recently, networks of government agencies were formed to create shared services centers, which provide a particular internal service, such as telecommunications to many government agencies that formerly operated separate services, aiming to achieve economies of scale, reduce costs and increase service quality and expertise. Networks of government agencies are also formed for integrated service delivery, using a ‘one stop shop’ model that offers a single physical or virtual place for citizens to access multiple services produced by different government agencies. Public sector knowledge networks involve sharing knowledge and information across traditional boundaries in order to address public needs that no single organization or jurisdiction can handle alone. These networks are complex and dynamic socio-technical systems involving relationships, policies, information, knowledge, processes, and technologies.
Government agencies form networks not only among themselves, but also with private sector firms, in order to reduce the costs of operations, and also with the civil society organizations and citizens, to exploit their knowledge for design or improvement of public policies and services, leading to a gradual shift towards ‘co-production’.
Governance of these networks requires communication, decision making, power sharing and coordination mechanisms. Today, all these forms of cooperative networks among government agencies, private sector firms, civil society and citizens rely critically on traditional ICTs, as well as on the Internet and Web 2.0 social media, for their operation. Consequently, such networks need a sound ICT-infrastructure to support critical functions. While some research has been done on the nature and effects of networks in the public and private sectors separately, our knowledge about the governance of cross-sectoral networks is much more limited. We have limited knowledge about the formation, evolution, structure, functions and outcomes of these efforts, as well as their problems, challenges and critical success factors. More important, perhaps, we know very little about how network governance contributes to performance and ultimate outcomes.
This Electronic Markets special issue aims to contribute to the creation of a scientific knowledge base concerning various types of ICT-based networks among government agencies, private sector firms and civil society. We solicit original high quality papers, based on sound theoretical foundations, which provide innovative and relevant insights about this increasingly important phenomenon.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Technological frameworks for establishing and supporting the operation and governance of such ICT-based networks among public sector agencies, private sector firms and civil society
  • Infrastructure needs and impact of different technologies on network operation, governance and performance
  • Formation of such networks, motivations, expected benefits and evolution
  • Characteristics, composition and functions of these networks, and ICT-based networked government and governance in general
  • Advantages and disadvantages, as well as critical success factors, of such networks, and comparisons among different forms of ICT-supported network governance
  • Evolution of ICT-based network government and governance over time
  • Contextual factors affecting such networks and various governance arrangements
  • Effectiveness of these networks and their governance for transparency, accountability and coordination
  • Analysis of outcomes, costs, risks, benefits and value of different forms of these networks and various forms of governance
  • Analysis of advanced networked government and governance applications and cases
  • Methodological approaches in the domains of project management, knowledge management or performance measurement or other areas that contribute to the implementation and understanding ICT–supported networks and their governance


We also welcome contributions addressing related topics not listed above (please contact the special issue editors in that case to discuss the fit prior to submission).

Important dates

Submission Deadline: January 31, 2015