MSc Management and Information Systems: Change and Development

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Digital Governance

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI60311
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This module covers digital govenance-specific content not covered by other course units.  It is divided into three parts:

1. eGovernment-Specific Applications Delivering Public Reform Goals (Sessions 1-5)

Following an introductory session overviewing what we mean by "digital governance" four sessions cover the main ways in which ICTs are being used to deliver various different parts of the public sector reform agenda:

  • eAdministration/G2G
  • eCitizens/eAccountability
  • eDemocracy/eParticipation
  • eServices/G2C & G2B

2. Broader Digital Governance Issues (Sessions 6-9)

This reviews broader digital governance issues).  These may include:

  • Citizen digital governance: state surveillance of citizens using digital technology and its implications
  • Social media governance: control of content, fundamentalism and polarisation online
  • Smart city governance: focusing on implications of smart city dataflows for marginalised groups
  • Platform governance: challenges and solutions for regulation of platform markets

3. Presentations (Session 10)

Evaluation of student group presentations on global South digital governance (issues not covered in-depth within the course unit).


The need for this course unit arises from the growing intersection between digital technologies and governance in the global South, and from the growing exposure of students to this phenomenon, as managers, professionals, consultants or participants in digital systems. The unit aims to explore different components of digital governance, but places these within an organisational and environmental context that seeks particularly to take account of drivers to change, key stakeholders, and national differences.


Teaching and learning methods

Online workshop sessions include lecturer presentation, case study material, student group activities and exercises, and group discussion.


Students are expected to engage with e-learning materials provided via Blackboard to support learning. These include session handouts including cases and exercises; links to further case study and research materials; and online discussion spaces.


The course unit is participative, encouraging students to share knowledge and experience. It is also practical, encouraging students to apply models and theory to real-world case studies.

Knowledge and understanding

  • describe the main components of digital governance and place those components into a broader socio-political framework

Intellectual skills

  • examine the potential benefits of, and constraints faced by key digital governance projects
  • apply critical frameworks to analyse both global South digital governance case studies and their own experience of governance-related digital systems
  • analyse the relationship between digital governance and wider socio-economic and political drivers of change
  • compare different country experiences of digital governance

Practical skills

  • construct a critical presentation on an aspect of digital governance relevant to the global South

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • critically review real-world case studies and relevant literature
  • work as a group to construct a presentation
  • construct a postgraduate-level assessment

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 70%
Oral assessment/presentation 30%

Feedback methods

Assessment pro-forma per group provided within 15 working days of presentation.

Recommended reading

Dunleavy, P., Margetts, H., Bastow, S. & Tinkler, J. (2006) Digital Era Governance, Oxford University Press.

Filgueiras, F. & Almeida, V. (2021) Governance for the Digital World. Springer.

Gardels, N., & Berggruen, N. (2019). Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism. Univ of California Press.

Graham, M., & Dutton, W. H. (Eds.). (2019). Society and the Internet: How Networks of Information and Communication are Changing our Lives. Oxford University Press.

Just Net Coalition (2020) A Digital New Deal, JNC

Milakovich, M. E. (2012). Digital Governance: New Technologies for Improving Public Service and Participation. Routledge.

UN (2020) United Nations E-Government Survey 2020, United Nations

Other materials available from:;; 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 15
Tutorials 5
Work based learning 25
Independent study hours
Independent study 75

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Richard Heeks Unit coordinator

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