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Sustainable eGovernance
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6373-7793
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on eGovernance – the use of ICT as a means to improve public sector practice. Previous research has shown that there is a lack of long-term discussion on the purposes and directions of eGovernance development, often outlining it as unequivocally positive, while missing to consider the complexities and conflicts involved in this process. In order to understand the complexities of eGovernance a future-oriented perspective is needed. In other words a perspective that not only focuses on using ICT to be responsive to present needs but also making it possible to discuss which goals public sector ICT initiatives should strive for and how these correspond to goals and means in the public sector as a whole. In order to do this I employ a sustainability perspective.

The aim of this thesis is to understand how eGovernance can be sustainable in such a complex organizational environment. This is approached in four papers; based on two case studies, situated in the public sector of Sweden, and a structured literature review of the use of the sustainability concept in eGovernance research.

The findings of this thesis include a framework of sustainable eGovernance, including an outline of the different dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, environmental and technical. These dimensions are seen as carriers of different values and goals which are in a process of continuous dialogue and conflict. Cutting across these four dimensions are two themes: decision making and information infrastructure, which make up the backbone of how ICT can be used in order to improve public practice. The theoretical lens of sustainability widens our understanding and helps in the questioning of motivations, directions and implications of eGovernance initiatives. This thesis thus contributes with a theoretically and empirically founded framework, which is suitable as a foundation for sustainable eGovernance development and further research into that area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university , 2014. , 130 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Informatics, 7
Keyword [en]
egovernance, public sector ict, sustainability, complexity, dialogue of values
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35174ISBN: 978-91-7529-028-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-35174DiVA: diva2:719788
Public defence
2014-09-11, Hörsalen, Musikhögskolan, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-27 Created: 2014-05-27 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Evolving structure in the implementation of healthcare information systems: an actor-network analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolving structure in the implementation of healthcare information systems: an actor-network analysis
2011 (English)In: Electronic Journal of e-Government, ISSN 1479-439X, E-ISSN 1479-439X, Vol. 9, no 1, 30-40 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Public sector ICT use is now moving towards integration of services and processes across departments, for instance in the healthcare sector. This is a challenging issue as it involves distributed decision making, often across both public and private organizations, which implies a multitude of issues. Enterprise Architectures (EA) aim at providing a common framework that includes data, resources and processes, through which all aspects of the enterprise can be directed towards a common goal in an efficient manner. It as been argued that architectures should be perceived as evolving (rather then as carefully planned roadmaps), although more research on how EA evolves is needed. This paper addresses the general question of, how does an EA evolve during implementation? A case study is used to illustrate how an EA evolves throughout the process of implementation. The case is the implementation of a national patient record system in the decentralized Swedish healthcare system. The project is part of a larger effort to implement an EA in the healthcare sector aimed at further integrating the whole sector.  Data is collected by means of observations, interviews and document analysis. Using an Actor-Network Theory perspective, this paper presents four episodes during which an EA evolves through interactions. In this way the paper contributes with a deepened understanding of how EA evolves by arguing that EA programs should be seen as something that needs to be planned with regard to that it will, and should, evolve in order to respond to needs discovered in the process. The contribution is a deepened understanding of how sub-projects co-evolve with a national EA project, thus mutually affecting each other. This should not be perceived as something unequivocally negative as this might also be strategic, and leads to evolution of other parts of the EA to suit each other.

Keyword
actor-network theory, eGovernment, eHealth, enterprise architecture, evolving structure, implementation
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-20687 (URN)
Projects
Avhandlingen
Available from: 2012-01-02 Created: 2012-01-02 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Ambiguities in the early stages of public sector enterprise architecture implementation: outlining complexities of interoperability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ambiguities in the early stages of public sector enterprise architecture implementation: outlining complexities of interoperability
2011 (English)In: Electronic government / [ed] Marijn Janssen, Hans J. Scholl, Maria A. Wimmer, Yao-Hua Tan, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011, 367-377 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years the development of eGovernment has increasingly gone from service provision to striving for an interoperable public sector, with Enterprise Architectures being an increasingly popular approach. However, a central issue is the coordination of work, due to differing perceptions among involved actors. This paper provides a deepened understanding of this by addressing the question of how differing interpretations of interoperability benefits affect the coordination in the early stages of implementing a public sector Enterprise Architecture. As a case-study, the interoperability efforts in Swedish eHealth are examined by interviews with key-actors. The theoretical framework is a maturity model with five levels of interoperability issues and benefits. The findings highlight the need to clarify decision-making roles, ambiguities concerning jurisdictions between authorities and that differing perceptions of IT-infrastructure is connected to overall goals. The paper also suggests a re-conceptualization of eGovernment maturity by moving away from sequential models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), ISSN 0302-9743 ; 6846
Keyword
eGovernment, Interoperability, Maturity models, Implementation, Coordination, Complexity
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-20688 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-22878-0_31 (DOI)978-3-642-22877-3 (ISBN)
Conference
10th IFIPWG 8.5 International Conference, EGOV 2011, Delft, The Netherlands, August 28 - September 2
Available from: 2012-01-02 Created: 2012-01-02 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
3. Future-oriented eGovernance: The sustainability concept in eGov research, and ways forward
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Future-oriented eGovernance: The sustainability concept in eGov research, and ways forward
2014 (English)In: Government Information Quarterly, ISSN 0740-624X, E-ISSN 1872-9517, Vol. 31, no 1, 137-149 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

eGov (eGovernment/eGovernance) is a complex endeavor involving many actors, ambitions, and perspectives. The field has, in research and in practice, over the years expanded its focus from service orientation to a comprehensive perspective with the ambition to integrate all of government in coherent action. Comprehensive integration requires a future-oriented perspective so investment is made in robust and flexible solutions meeting not only today's demands but also sustainable to meet those of the future. This paper addresses the use of the sustainability concept in eGov research. We discuss definitions and elements of sustainability and conduct a structured review of eGov literature investigating how various sustainability areas (social, economic, environmental and technical) are addressed. We find 21 overall themes in 94 papers, with the highest number in the “social” category. Two cross-cutting themes to which 21 overall themes relate are also identified; Decision-making and Infrastructure. Findings show that sustainability is mainly addressed narrowly, focusing on projects rather than general issues, and shallowly with a focus on single factors rather than the complex interaction among them, and with little foundation in sustainability theory. The paper contributes with an overview of themes in previous research as well as theory-based input for future research efforts on eGov sustainability, from a dynamic and sociotechnical sustainability perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
San Diego: Elsevier, 2014
Keyword
eGovernance, eGovernment, Sustainability, Complexity, Literature review
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Information technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-33253 (URN)10.1016/j.giq.2013.07.004 (DOI)000331428500017 ()2-s2.0-84895906710 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-01-23 Created: 2014-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Sustainable eGovernance?: decision making, coordination and continuity in Swedish eGov practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable eGovernance?: decision making, coordination and continuity in Swedish eGov practice
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The use of ICTs in the public sector, eGovernment, is increasingly understood as a complex phenomenon intricately embedded in a continuously changing environment including multiple actors, rather referred to as eGovernance. A need for research that is “future oriented” has been identified, and previous research has suggested a sustainability perspective. Research employing the sustainability concept has increased recently but is still a fledgling research area without a common focus or use of the concept. There is a lack of research with a thorough basis in sustainability theory and a need for empirically founded theoretical development regarding sustainable eGovernance. Hence, the research question of this paper is, How can current eGovernance practice be interpreted from a sustainability perspective? A case study is performed in the context of Swedish eGovernance practice, at national and municipal level. Inductive interviews are used to investigate practitioners’ views. Thereafter we test a framework of eGovernance sustainability, developed based on the eGovernance literature, against the views of the practitioners. We find that sustainability in eGovernance is most prominently related with decision making and coordination related to infrastructure, as actors struggle with achieving continuity and implementing a holistic view of the use of ICT in the public sector. We also find that eGovernance research, while still shallow, has a focus that corresponds well to the issues that practitioners find most crucial for the future. Hence, the results provide a consolidated framework of eGovernance sustainability issues, both theoretically and empirically informed. 

Keyword
eGovernance, eGov, Sustainability, EGOV4SD, Case study, Governance, Decision making, Infrastructure
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35332 (URN)
Available from: 2014-06-11 Created: 2014-06-11 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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