Several governments are actively encouraging their administrations to deliver public services exclusively through digital channels. This strategy consists of putting in place a series of complex and specific actions that bring into play numerous actors, to ensure that users are willing to accept digital channels and that weaker users are not disadvantaged. Although this strategy is being increasingly adopted in various countries, scholars have scarcely begun to explore its logic. This research explores how to define a service delivery strategy that forces users to adopt digital channels. Four in-depth case studies have been conducted on Italian local governments that started delivering their non-educational school services through digital channels alone. We found that a mandatory service delivery strategy is feasible when the starting point is to understand the users' characteristics, skills and behaviours and, as a consequence, whether they perceive the service as complex and/or ambiguous. With this in mind, public organisations can select the proper mix of channels for each category of users and combine their change in approach with behavioural-type interventions, i.e. by creating the right conditions to modify the users' behaviour.

Mandatory provisioning of digital public services as a feasible service delivery strategy: Evidence from Italian local governments

Tangi L.;Benedetti M.;Gastaldi L.;Noci G.;Russo C.
2021

Abstract

Several governments are actively encouraging their administrations to deliver public services exclusively through digital channels. This strategy consists of putting in place a series of complex and specific actions that bring into play numerous actors, to ensure that users are willing to accept digital channels and that weaker users are not disadvantaged. Although this strategy is being increasingly adopted in various countries, scholars have scarcely begun to explore its logic. This research explores how to define a service delivery strategy that forces users to adopt digital channels. Four in-depth case studies have been conducted on Italian local governments that started delivering their non-educational school services through digital channels alone. We found that a mandatory service delivery strategy is feasible when the starting point is to understand the users' characteristics, skills and behaviours and, as a consequence, whether they perceive the service as complex and/or ambiguous. With this in mind, public organisations can select the proper mix of channels for each category of users and combine their change in approach with behavioural-type interventions, i.e. by creating the right conditions to modify the users' behaviour.
Channel choice
Digital public service
Local governments
Mandatory digital channel
Media richness theory
Multichannel management
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1169386
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