Changing civil servants’ behaviour concerning the opening of governmental data. Evaluating the effect of a game by comparing civil servants’ intentions before and after a game intervention

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Abstract

Open data policies are increasingly being adopted by governments. However, civil servants find it challenging to comply with open data policies. Gaming can help civil servants to practise opening data and can change their behaviour to support the opening of more data. In this article, the effect of playing a game is evaluated in an experiment in which several factors that influence the opening of data are compared before and after the game. The benefits appeared in unexpected ways and areas. Data management, privacy and security knowledge was transferred using the game, the perception of benefits showed significant changes, and behavioural intention was positively affected. Points for practitioners: Civil servants’ behaviour influences how public policies are enacted. The release of open data by governments is related by many as crucial for increasing public transparency and civic participation, and generating new economic opportunities. Games can influence the attitude of civil servants and, consequently, change governments’ decisions. Transferring knowledge and providing insights from new experiences can influence civil servants’ attitudes to open data. Moreover, governments can use games to influence civil servants’ attitudes.

Keywords

  • behaviour
  • behavioural change
  • data management
  • freedom of information
  • gaming
  • open data
  • open government

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