The Adoption of Robotics by Government Agencies: Evidence from Crime Labs

Andrew B. Whitford, Jeff Yates, Adam Burchfield, Jason L. Anastasopoulos, Derrick M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Two decades of research have helped show that government agencies can be innovative under certain conditions. We test hypotheses about the adoption and use of robotics as a key emerging leading-edge technology as advanced economies undergo the latest technological revolution. We focus on the case of U.S. crime laboratories as a core component of the “evidence assembly process” in the U.S. justice system. Using data from the census of crime labs, we show that the adoption of robotics depends on familiar “push-and-pull” factors: the push of agency professionalism, the pull of agency task environments, and the supporting capability of resources. Together these findings suggest that agencies can be early adopters of robotics as advanced technologies if they have the capacity (and need) to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-988
Number of pages13
JournalPublic administration review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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