Information Sharing in and Across Government Agencies: The Role and Influence of Scientist, Politician, and Bureaucrat Subcultures

David B. Drake, Nicole A. Steckler, Marianne J. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


This article is based on an exploratory, interdisciplinary study of issues related to information sharing within and across three public agencies. Based on Schein's work, three subcultures within the public sector (scientist, politician, and bureaucrat) were identified as a framework to examine these issues. Dawes's three categories of benefits and barriers, associated with interagency information sharing (technical, organizational, and political), were also used in developing the framework. Their work has been extended by identifying three types of differences (view, use, and purpose) among these subcultural relationships to data and information. Four types of systems (social, constituency, technical, and organizational) that influence information-sharing processes within and across agencies also were identified. Two cases are offered to illustrate key points about information sharing across subcultures and some implications for research and practice to enhance abilities within the public sector to appropriately and effectively share information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-84
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004



  • Collaboration
  • Culture
  • Data
  • Digital government
  • Information sharing
  • Knowledge management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law

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