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Reassembling Local E-Government: A study of actors’ translations of digitalisation in public administration
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6099-4252
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Spänningar i kommunal e-förvaltning : En studie av hur digitalisering översätts i offentlig förvaltning (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The digitalisation of society decidedly affects public administration. Swedish public administration has long worked with information technologies for an effective and improved management of public services. But new and increased use of information technologies in society poses new challenges. New demands on information security are increasing, while accessibility and transparency are important priorities in policies on digitalisation in public services. However, the central government’s ambitions and expectations with regard to digitalisation face a slow and hesitant implementation in local governments. There are important differences between municipalities in priorities, local needs, and implementation mechanisms in connection with e-government. In this thesis, I argue there is a need to reconsider the role of governance mechanisms in e-government. There is a need to understand local translations of national policies and technological developments in relation to the goals of more effective and legitimate public administration. The main purpose of this thesis is to analyse tensions that emerge in the implementation of egovernment in local public administration. On the basis of a constructivist and interpretivist approach, I have undertaken two empirical studies. One focuses on municipal administration of education in Linköping. The other focuses on a governance network on digitalisation policy in Östergötland. The studies are presented in four papers. The issues addressed in the papers are further analysed with a focus on four fields of tension, using network governance theory and translation theory. This shows that the implementation of e-government in local public administration is a tension-laden process. The four fields of tension relate to: different logics and dilemmas for adoption and implementation; concerns and ambiguities in a context of unclear organisational and institutional arrangements; concerns and resistance from professional users; and a reassessment of the meaning of security as a reference for the interpretation of information security. I contend that established managerial and evolutionary models of e-government leave important process-related aspects out of the analysis of change in public administration. The contribution of this thesis lies in its description and analysis of the four identified fields of tension. One significant implication of my analysis is that reassembling current  governance mechanisms in local public administration is crucial.

Abstract [sv]

Samhällets digitalisering påverkar tydligt den offentliga förvaltningen. Svensk förvaltning har länge arbetat med datorer för effektivisering och förbättrad administration. Men idag ställs nya krav då digitala verktyg för informationshantering och kommunikation används allt mer i samhället och på nya sätt. Kraven på säker informationshantering ökar, samtidigt som tillgänglighet och transparens är viktiga ledord i policyer kring digitaliserad förvaltning. I Sverige är det tydligt att regeringens ambitioner med digitaliseringen av förvaltning inte går i linje med vad som sker och implementeras i kommunerna. Skillnaderna ligger i hur e-förvaltning prioriteras, förankras i lokala behov och implementeras. Därför krävs både förbättrad styrning och tydligare möjligheter att lokalt översätta nationella policyer och internationell teknikutveckling för en effektivare och mer legitim digital förvaltning. Syftet med avhandlingen är att analysera implementering av digitalisering i kommunala förvaltningar utifrån nätverksstyrning (governance) och översätts av olika aktörsgrupper.Studiens konstruktivistiska och tolkande ansats baseras på två empiriska studier. Den första handlar om kommunal utbildningsadministration och den andra om den regionala digitala agendan i Östergötland. Studierna  presenteras i fyra artiklar. De övergripande slutsatserna pekar på spänningar som uppstår när digitaliseringen blir en del av den kommunala förvaltningspraktiken. Spänningarna har identifierats i relation till medarbetarnas varierande kompetenser, informationssäkerhet samt kommunernas olika resurser och kompetenser vilka betingas av dess storlek och förutsättnignar. Bidraget visar att etablerade  managementmodell och evolutionära perspektiv är otillräckliga för att tolka och förklara hur digitaliseringen förändrar kommunal förvaltning. Istället framhålls betydelsen av att skapa förståelsen för hur digtalisering översätts i olika sammanhang. Analyserna pekar på behovet av att öppna för nya sätt att styra och organisera digital offentlig förvaltning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. , p. 132
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 718
Keywords [en]
Local e-Government, digitalisation, network governance, translation, tensions
Keywords [sv]
Kommunal förvaltning, digitalisering, nätverksstyrning, översättning, spänningar
National Category
Public Administration Studies Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Information Systems, Social aspects Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Globalisation Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-138859DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-138859ISBN: 9789176855003 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-138859DiVA, id: diva2:1115266
Public defence
2017-09-22, Sal ACAS, Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2018-08-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Safe on-line e-services building legitimacy for e- government: A case study of public e-services in education in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safe on-line e-services building legitimacy for e- government: A case study of public e-services in education in Sweden
2013 (English)In: eJournal of eDemocracy & Open Government, ISSN 2075-9517, E-ISSN 2075-9517, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 155-173Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is an increased use of public e-services integrating citizens into public administration through electronic interfaces. On-line interaction among public organizations and citizens is one core relation in e-government that hereby becomes embedded into daily practices. A safe entry into e-governmental systems is essential for security and trust in the e-governmental systems and schools as well as public services in general. This paper addresses how electronic identification has been used for access to public e-services in schools in a Swedish municipality. This paper draws on a case study of use of ICT platforms in education administration in order to study the implementation of secure login process and factors that may have implications upon trust in-and legitimacy of public e-services at local e-government level. Besides describing the implementation process and analyzing security and organizational arrangements connected to the use of the platform, the paper address the argument that secure identification tools are essential for increased use of e-services and lead to greater legitimacy of the public (e)services. The analysis focuses on information security, organization set-up and potential development of the platforms, contributing with empirical findings and conceptual applications. A key finding was that the organization of identification and access to public e-services seemed highly dependent of the organizational structure of the public schools. The more general implication of the findings was that safe and well organized identification systems that were considered as trustworthy and useful among citizens were essential for increased use of the services and legitimate public e-services in general. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Krems, Austria: Donau-Universitaet Krems, 2013
Keywords
local e-government, public e-services, education administration, legitimacy, electronic identification, information security
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99916 (URN)
Projects
Future secure electronic identification - emergence and use of e-identification (FUSe)
Available from: 2013-10-23 Created: 2013-10-23 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved
2. Constructing security: reflections on the margins of a case study of the use of electronic identification in ICT platforms in schools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Constructing security: reflections on the margins of a case study of the use of electronic identification in ICT platforms in schools
2014 (English)In: Privacy and Identity Management for Emerging Services and Technologies: 8th IFIP WG 9.2, 9.5, 9.6/11.7, 11.4, 11.6 International Summer School, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 17-21, 2013, Revised Selected Papers / [ed] M. Hansen, J.-H. Hoepman, R. Leenes, D. Whitehouse, Springer, 2014, p. 224-236Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses how people construct meanings regarding “the concept of security”, based upon the descriptions collected from participants in a case study of the use of electronic identification in ICT platforms in schools. The aim of the paper is to reflect on the concept of security by identifying and analyzing how people build their own understanding of security when using ICT platforms in schools. The analysis identifies three ontological instances of security: security as an ideal state of affairs, security as a value and information security. The analysis also clarifies the difference between the objective and subjective nature of security, as well as the differences between factual and perceived information security. As a result, I raise several research questions concerning “security”, and identify common assumptions with regard to constructing the concept of security. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2014
Series
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1868-4238 ; 421
Keywords
Security, ontological, epistemological, construction, meaning, empirical
National Category
Public Administration Studies Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99931 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-55137-6_18 (DOI)000342688200018 ()978-3-642-55136-9 (ISBN)
Conference
8th International IFIP Summer School on Privacy and Identity Management for Emerging Services and Technologies, 17-21 June 2013, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Available from: 2013-10-23 Created: 2013-10-23 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
3. Constructing identities: Professional use of eID in public organisations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Constructing identities: Professional use of eID in public organisations
2015 (English)In: Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, ISSN 1750-6166, E-ISSN 1750-6174, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 143-158Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose– The purpose of the paper is to reveal how identities are constructed when electronic identification (eIDs) cards are introduced through information systems in public organisations. Design/methodology/approach– Through two case studies, the authors generate rich data on the construction of identities through use of eID within public organisations. The author’s analysis, based on actor network theory, focusses on the translation of eIDs in these two settings. Findings– ID can be viewed as an artefact where the public and private spheres meet. The authors found at least three mixed roles in employees’ use of eID: as a purely private person; as a private person in the work place; and as a professional in the work place. Research limitations/implications– There is a need for further research on how eID is translated into organisational contexts and how institutional settings define the openings for local translation processes. However, the results are based on two small cases, meaning that broad generalisations are difficult to make. Practical implications– EID is so much more than technology. The technical framing of the identification system appears to be subordinated to organisational arrangements and cultures, making it important to apply a socio-technical perspective when working with eID. Originality/value– The empirical cases have offered a unique chance to study implementation and use of eID in two very different public service organisations. The findings illustrate how eID translated into organisational contexts, and how identity management within an organisational setting is linked to the employees’ private and professional roles.

National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120124 (URN)10.1108/TG-11-2013-0049 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-07-12 Created: 2015-07-12 Last updated: 2018-06-15

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