Open Data in Cities
: A Role Perspective on Misalignments in an Open Data Value Chain

Student thesis: Doc typesDocteur en Sciences économiques et de gestion


Nowadays, municipalities are encouraged to publish their data as “open data”, data that can be freely used, re-used, and redistributed by anyone for any purpose. The higher purpose is to create value through innovation, participation in governance, and transparency. However, open data is not reaching full fruition. In cities, the roles of the citizens, end-users and municipalities in open data initiatives are ambiguous, and the participation of laypersons is scarce. I suspect that it can be a source of misalignments in the value chain. Hence, my thesis purpose is to explore the concept of role to bring new insights into the possible misalignments in an open data value chain.
I survey the different participatory paradigms nurturing the rise of open data. Then, I synthesise an open data value chain and pinpoint possible misalignments. I highlight three research gaps: the fuzzy citizens’ roles in open data initiatives, the diverse municipalities’ roles and their expectations towards their users, and the lack of end-user involvement and integration of their information needs. I use two methods: a multiple case study, with qualitative abductive research, and Design Science Research.
This thesis contributes to both research and practice, showing the relevance of the concept of role in bringing new insights into possible misalignments and start solving them. For research, it implies using the role combinations, issues, and expectations as a new perspective to study and solve the misalignments in open data value chains. For practice, the findings prompt the practitioners’ critical thinking and reflections on their assumptions about other roles and actors involved, and the implementation of their expected outcomes. It implies making one’s role in interaction with other actors and envisioning singular value chains for singular expected outcomes, which goes against the current “open arena" thinking of open data’s rhetoric.
la date de réponse25 août 2022
langue originaleAnglais
L'institution diplômante
  • Universite de Namur
SponsorsFEDER Région Wallonne
SuperviseurAnnick Castiaux (Promoteur), Jean-Yves Gnabo (Président), Melanie Latiers (Jury), Catherine Elsen (Jury), Corentin Burnay (Jury) & Ulf Melin (Jury)

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