UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Motivation Perspectives on Opening up Municipality Data: Does Municipality Size Matter? Zuiderwijk, Anneke; Volten, Cécile; Kroesen, Maarten; Gill, Mark


National governments often expect municipalities to develop toward open cities and be equally motivated to open up municipal data, yet municipalities have different characteristics influencing their motivations. This paper aims to reveal how municipality size influences municipalities’ motivation perspectives on opening up municipality data. To this end, Q-methodology is used, which is a method that is suited to objectify people’s frames of mind on a particular topic. By applying this method to 37 municipalities in the Netherlands, we elicited the motivation perspectives of three main groups of municipalities: (1) advocating municipalities, (2) careful municipalities, and (3) conservative municipalities. We found that advocating municipalities are mainly large-sized municipalities (>65,000 inhabitants) and a few small-sized municipalities (<35,000 inhabitants). Careful municipalities concern municipalities of all sizes (small, medium, and large). The conservative municipality perspective is more common among smaller-sized municipalities. Our findings do not support the statement “the smaller the municipality, the less motivated it is to open up its data”. However, the type and amount of municipality resources do influence motivations to share data or not. We provide recommendations for how open data policy makers on the national level need to support the three groups of municipalities and municipalities of different sizes in different ways to stimulate the provision of municipal data to the public as much as possible. Moreover, if national governments can identify which municipalities adhere to which motivation perspective, they can then develop more targeted open data policies that meet the requirements of the municipalities that adhere to each perspective. This should result in more open data value creation.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


CC BY 4.0