Access to the spatial data and the willingness of organisation to share
A research methodology
Such motivations are associated with attitude and belief systems, which, in turn, are influenced by a
large number of cultural, social, political and economic conditions. In this section, the framework for
analysing these beliefs is briefly introduced.
The Theory of Planned Behaviour from social psychology provides a rigorous framework for defining
a set of beliefs about a specific behaviour held by a number of individuals at any given point in time.1
An analysis of these beliefs to identify the most salient ones can provide a robust indication of their
intention to act out the behaviour. The central elements assumed to mediate between the beliefs and
the intention to act are attitude, perceived social pressure and perceived control. This framework has
been applied to examine spatial data sharing intentions in South Africa (Wehn de Montalvo 2001a,b;
Wehn de Montalvo 2002) and the resultant model of the willingness of organisations to engage in
spatial data sharing across organisational boundaries is presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Model of the willingness of organisations to engage in spatial data sharing (South
Source: Wehn de Montalvo (2001a)
The input for the model is the perception of key decision makers in organisations that use GIS. These
perceptions are collected by means of a questionnaire instrument and evaluated using statistical
procedures. Specific details of the steps needed to implement this approach for an analysis of spatial
data sharing behaviour are provided in the remainder of this paper.
2. Conceptualisations of spatial data sharing
The growing importance of spatial data availability and data access for the effective use of GIS has
begun to generate a branch of research that focuses directly on the issue of spatial data sharing. This
work was consulted to develop a definition of spatial data sharing. The definition is constitutes an
essential building block for the research methodology presented in this paper to examine whether and
why individuals embedded in organisations may or may not wish to engage in spatial data sharing with
Spatial data sharing has been defined in a number of ways. These definitions are summarised in Table
1 in order to clarify the commonalties.
1 For more details on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, see Ajzen (1985; 1986; 1988; 1991).