Fountain (2001) - Building the Virtual State

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Fountain, Jane E. (2001): Building the virtual state. Information technology and institutional change, Washington, D.C. 2001


Public administrations are challenged through the networking potential of ICTs. The book addresses this problem based on governance, organization, and institutional theory. Building on these theories the author describes the socially constructed institutional (e.g., rules, norms, symbols) and organizational context (bureaucratic form) in which ICTs get implemented: the American state. New ICT-based innovations and the context they are embedded in influence each other. In order to analyze this process Fountain develops the technology enactment framework that conceptualizes enacted technology that is being interpreted, used and designed regarding the specific context and the objective features of the technology.


The technology enactment framework guides the description and analysis of four case studies of US 'virtual agencies'