Barriers to Openly Sharing Government Data

Towards an Open Data-adapted Innovation Resistance Theory

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Open Government Data (OGD) is a fundamental source for sustainability-oriented and data-driven innovation by citizens, companies, and other actors. However, many government agencies are reluctant to openly share their data with the public. While the resistance of public organizations to openly share government data has been investigated in previous research, most of these studies are focused on the reuse of open government data by companies and citizens. There is a paucity of research applying theoretical models to study the provision of OGD, and more specifically, the resistance of public organizations to make government data publicly available. We argue that Innovation Resistance Theory (IRT), which considers both functional and psychological factors, can be used to study OGD barriers, where OGD is seen as a source of innovation. This study aims to develop an OGD-adapted IRT model to empirically identify predictors affecting public agencies' resistance to openly sharing government data. Based on a review of the literature on both IRT research and barriers associated with open data sharing by public agencies, we develop an initial version of the model. In our future research, we plan to conduct exploratory interviews in multiple countries to refine the model. Ultimately, we will validate the refined model to study the resistance of public authorities to openly sharing government data in a quantitative study.