Centralization or diffusion? Two tales of online government

Alon Peled*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Can the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet change the power relationships within a bureaucracy? The dominant centralization approach argues that the existing power elite manipulates computers to perpetuate and augment its power. Although not a coherent school of thought, other scholars suggest that technology can decentralize bureaucratic structures and diffuse bureaucratic power. The little-known history of the ICT revolution in the Israeli public sector suggests that the same empirical evidence can be woven into two starkly different historical narratives supporting each of these approaches depending on the kinds of questions scholars ask at the onset of their research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)686-709
Number of pages24
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 2001


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