Institutional isomorphism, policy networks, and the analytical depreciation of measurement indicators: The case of the EU e-government benchmarking

Paper by Cristiano Codagnone et al: “This article discusses the socio-political dimension of measurement in the context of benchmarking e-government within the European Union׳s Open Method of Coordination. It provides empirical evidence of how this has resulted in institutional isomorphism within the self-referential policy network community involved in the benchmarking process. It argues that the policy prominence retained by supply-side benchmarking of e-government has probably indirectly limited efforts made to measure and evaluate more tangible impacts. High scores in EU benchmarking have contributed to increasing the institutionally-perceived quality but not necessarily the real quality and utility of e-government services. The article concludes by outlining implications for policy and practical recommendations for filling the gaps identified in measurement and evaluation of e-government. It proposes a more comprehensive policy benchmarking framework, which aims to ensure a gradual improvement in measurement activities with indicators that reflect and follow the pace of change, align measurement activities to evaluation needs and, eventually, reduce measurement error….(More)”