Investigating Government as a Platform Characteristics: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Synthesis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.

3 Associate Prof., Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Islamic Studies and Management, Imam Sadiq University, Tehran, Iran.


Objective:Inspired from online business platforms, the idea of Government as a Platform (GaaP) claims that it can transform the government's approach to public service to a better, smarter and cheaper public service, and to "do more with more". This research aims to investigate and identify the characteristics of Government as a Platform and to develop a conceptual framework to show the characteristics as well as different interpretations of the concept.
Methods: This qualitative research has been conducted through a systematic literature review followed by a meta-synthesis approach. From 776 documents found in the screening stage, 38 research documents were selected for coding, data extracting and analysis as the output of the systematic review to enter the meta-synthesis process.
Results: Aggregation and classification of the codes extracted, formed 29 concepts (characteristics): Openness, Data-driven, Sharing, Block Structure,  Network Effects, Citizen Empowerment, Citizen Centricity, Collaboration, Modularity, Interoperability, Simplicity, Evolutionary Process, ReUsability, Using Common or Shared Sources, Using Existing Best, Experimentation, Achievability, Service Oriented Architecture, Accessibility, Integrity, Leading by Examples, Learning from Hackers, Using Data Mining, Agility, Flexibility, Availability, Digital as default, One to Many, and Re-Organizing Government. These concepts were classified into three categories: Basic characteristics, Technical characteristics and Executive characteristics.
Conclusion: This research concludes that available interpretations of Government as a Platform are not completely diverse and different views. Perhaps achieving some combination of GaaP basic, technical and executive characteristics, form three views or layers: Government as a technology platform, Government as a data platform and Government as an innovation ecosystem. Overall if Government as a Platform is to be a meaningful concept, it needs to incorporate some level of all three of these layers. This research tried to identify the GaaP characteristics and their relation to these different points of views (layers) in form of a comprehensive conceptual framework.


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