A Grounded Theory for Innovation in Iran’s Electronic Public Services

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Public Administration Department, Allameh Tabataba’i University

2 Assistant Professor, Public Administration Department, Allameh Tabataba’i University

3 Ph. D in Public Administration, Allameh Tabataba’i University


By entering the digital era and given the expansion of electronic devices, the demands and needs of society have undergone changes and the government should adapt public services with these changes and provide new services with an innovative approach using modern information and communication technologies. This qualitative research seeks to model the innovation process of electronic public services in Iran using Strauss and Corbin's approach to the Grounded Theory. In this regard, due to the lack of a codified model in the field of innovation in e-government citizen services, based on national studies and experiences, 15 specialized semi-structured interviews with scientific and executive experts were conducted to answer the research question. The analysis of data in the open coding process led to the emergence of 165 abstract concepts in the form of 22 main categories. Then, these categories were linked together in the pivotal coding process. Finally, five theorems were obtained as a result of selective coding. Data analysis, based on Grounded Theory, suggests that "Unfulfilled Expectations of Citizens" and "New Expectations of Citizens" and "Technological Possibilities" considered as the “Innovation Opportunity Making Streams”, through the “Innovation Process Cycle” consisting stages of "Need to Service Discovery", "Service Design", "Provision of the Service" and "Re-continuation of the Innovation Process in Service" transform the "Innovation Niche" into the quadruple effects of "Innovative Citizen Services", "Service Experience", "Public Services Productivity" and “Government Agility. At the same time, the “Enabling Factors” of "Participatory Approach", "Supportive Attitude", "Organizational Innovation Capacity", "Technology Social Equipment", “Providing Legal Foundation”, “e-Trust Infrastructure”, "Organizational System" and "Entrepreneur Agent" are considered as interfering factors and the underlying factors of "Close Context" and "Far Context" as enabling contextual factors, facilitating innovation in e-government citizen services.


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