Digital Transformation and Government: Barriers to and Enablers of Change

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    Using digital platforms to promote a service-oriented logic in public sector organizations: A case study
    ( 2021-01-05) Vestues, Kathrine ; Mikalsen, Marius ; Monteiro, Eric
    A growing number of scholars and practitioners have recognized that value is defined and co-created by citizens, and that citizens must be involved in the service delivery process to improve the quality and efficacy of public services. Central to such a service-dominant logic, is that public sector organizations cannot manufacture value for citizens, they can only make a value proposition which the citizen might choose to use. Hence, value must be co-created. However, this entails accommodating co-creation practices with millions of users. Currently, co-creation is often limited to involving a carefully selected set of users in crafting requirements early, and/or measuring user satisfaction upon service launch. There is an empirical blind spot in the current literature in terms of how to shape service delivery in a way that is capable of effectively capturing emergent and process-oriented value co-creation across large user groups. Through a longitudinal case study of the IT department at the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV), providing services to millions of users, this paper explores how digital platforms are used to transform value co-creation into a process of continuous improvement. We find that adopting a process-oriented approach for co-creation within public sector organizations requires structural changes, including sourcing strategy and governance structure. We also show the importance of digital platforms in increasing the efficiency of co-creation. We discuss how these structural changes were done, and the role of digital platforms in achieving these changes.
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    Towards Data-Driven Decision-Making in Government: Identifying Opportunities and Challenges for Data Use and Analytics
    ( 2021-01-05) Choi, Yongjin ; Gil-Garcia, J. ; Burke, G Brian ; Costello, Jim ; Werthmuller, Derek ; Aranay, Oguz
    Despite the growing body of literature on data-driven decision-making (DDDM) and, more recently, big data, empirical analyses on processes and strategies of government agencies toward DDDM are still scarce. To mitigate this gap in the literature, this study identifies and explains opportunities and challenges of data use and analytics found in a case of a U.S. state-government agency that is in charge of water quality management and has started to implement Evidence-Based Policy Making (EBPM). By drawing on four dimensions, data, technology, organization, and institutions, the results show how the organization’s DDDM practices are enabled or constrained by nine types of determinants: data quality/coverage, compatibility/interoperability, external data, information technologies/software, analytical techniques, cooperation, culture, privacy/confidentiality, and public procurement. Overall, the findings imply that either quality data or advanced analytic techniques alone do not guarantee effective DDDM; organizational and institutional support is also needed for successful implementation.
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    Maturity Model for Cognitive Computing Systems in the Public Sector
    ( 2021-01-05) Desouza, Kevin ; Götz, Franziska ; Dawson, Gregory S.
    Thanks to their enormous potential for creating more efficient processes and solving vexing problem, cognitive computing systems (CCSs) are increasingly prevalent in the public sector. However, their full deployment is stymied by all of the problems faced by private firms (e.g. organizational issues, people issues and technology issues) as well as problems that are unique to the public sector including stakeholder groups with conflicting goals and a demand for full transparency. In this study, we develop a public-sector centric maturity model approach to CCSs that acknowledges and addresses these problems while providing a path to evaluate, assess and guide CCS initiatives. By following this model, the public sector can reap the rewards of CCS deployment and provide better outcomes for its citizenry.
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    Digital Transformation Initiative in a Public Sector Organization: Stakeholder Viewpoints and Responses in Ghana
    ( 2021-01-05) Agbeko, Michael ; Effah, John ; Boateng, Richard
    The importance of digital transformation initiatives for contemporary organizations has been demonstrated in research and practice. However, stakeholder viewpoints and responses to such initiatives in the public sector are less understood. We draw on the stakeholder theory to empirically examine how a public sector transformation initiative is shaped by various stakeholders’ viewpoints and responses. This initiative involves an e-procurement platform implementation to transform procurement processes and activities in the developing country context of Ghana. We find that responses from the stakeholder groups influence which viewpoints are realized or not and what factors shape the realizations. The analysis demonstrates that: (1) Failure to realize stakeholder viewpoints is likely to affect benefits derived from public sector digital transformation initiatives; (2) Success of digital transformation initiative pivots around analysis of stakeholders’ responses to the outcomes of such projects; (3) Lack of appropriate technological infrastructure constrains digital transformation initiatives in the public sector.
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    Cultivating Creativity: Insights from German Local Governments about the Drivers and Barriers of Change
    ( 2021-01-05) Klein, Hans Christian ; Oschinsky, Frederike Marie ; Rubens, Sarah
    There is a tremendous need for creative problem solving and innovation. While creativity is considered as a crucial resource in the private sector and in start-ups, creative methods such as design thinking are rarely used as a systematic approach for public innovation. Thus, individual creative work practices with their drivers and barriers are not yet fully understood in public organizations. We start to fill this gap by giving an overview on related work as well as on the foundations of creativity. Next, we present best practices from German local governments. We conduct a focus group interview and illustrate preliminary results. By doing so, we identify four main themes that determine the drivers and barriers when cultivating creativity in the public sector (i.e., creativity and self-efficacy, complexity and application, clearance, mindset). As a conclusion, we discuss our results and show avenues for further research.
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    Challenges, Barriers, and Approaches for Providing Digital Citizen Information. A Case-Study in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    ( 2021-01-05) Birghan, Fabian ; Hettenhausen, Robert ; Meschede, Christine
    In this article, we present a case study of the limitations and barriers concerning digital citizen information systems in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany. We define citizen information as information that satisfies citizens' needs and interests regarding their country, state, or municipality. Local governments can use information systems in the form of official websites, social media, council information systems, mobile applications, and open data portals to disseminate information. Aspects like transparency, participation, and collaboration can thereby be strengthened. We assessed citizens' views of such systems via a questionnaire and addressed their wishes in expert interviews. The results suggest that NRW has good prerequisites to provide digital citizen information systems, but the municipalities still have to overcome several barriers. We suggest six central approaches: development of a social media strategy, creation of digital competences, establishment of standards, strategies for increasing awareness, development of innovative services, and strengthening cooperation between municipalities.
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    Best practice of digital government in emerging democracies: Illustrations, challenges and reflections of state building processes
    ( 2021-01-05) Wihlborg, Elin ; Sommar, Carl-Johan ; Kulanovic, Aneta ; Kaharevic, Ahmed ; Iacobaeus, Helena
    Digital government applications and models of-ten add layers to existing structures, organizations, and routines to facilitate public services. In most states digital government is thus added to established structures and organizations, but what hap-pens when e-government develop at as an integrated part of new state building? This is the overall question in this paper presenting an analysis of best practices of e-government in six countries in the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The cases of best practice have been identified through an interactive research process, and analyzed through a combined lens of eGovernment stage-models and core public values. The analysis shows how new digital government applications and innovations are designed and used in new democracies as part of new state building structures. The findings indicate a lack of new institutional arrangements for digital government. Taken together it shows that the development of e-government in the Western Balkans follows a path-dependence of other states, in spite of the opportunities for more innovative and sustainable e-government by continuing the institutional reformation.
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