Structural Features of Digital Strategies for Municipalities

  • Björn NiehavesEmail author
  • Kristina Röding
  • Frederike Marie Oschinsky


Today, the public sector needs to be able to quickly adapt to future developments in order to both obtain the ability to act and increase their competitiveness over labour and residents. In order to benefit from technological developments, municipalities should start to set their direction in time. One way of doing so can be to develop a digital strategy. Thus, our paper asks, “how can a digital strategy be structured in the public sector, especially for municipalities?” To answer our research question, we applied a multi-method approach. First, we use case studies, consisting of qualitative and quantitative content analysis, qualitative process analysis, expert interviews and an expert workshop, to conceptualise a structural framework for digital strategies for municipalities. Second, we take into account a survey of 145 municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, to learn about the status quo regarding digital strategies in municipalities. We found that digital strategies can be structured by their Strategic Alignment, Strategic Formulation, Core Themes and Fields of Action. This insight allows us to recommend actions for municipalities on how to structure their future digital strategies.


Digital strategy Public sector Policy analysis Strategic alignment 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Björn Niehaves
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kristina Röding
    • 1
  • Frederike Marie Oschinsky
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SiegenSiegenGermany

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