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  • 1.
    Ask, Andreas
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    The Role of Enterprise Architecture in Local eGovernment Adoption2012Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Governments struggle with inefficiencies and an inability to achieve interoperable information communication technology (ICT) systems. Apparent issues include a failure of local government to realize the benefits of electronic government (eGov) initiatives, high project failure rates, administrations hampered with inefficiencies, and a lack of interoperability between systems within the local government. Thus, local governments need to address their eGov initiatives in a structured way to improve their chances of providing the benefits that are sought after.

    Sweden’s eGov model is decentralized, following a strict new public management (NPM) model. Whilst eGov ought to bring benefits to local government, Sweden is still hampered by inefficiencies and an inability to achieve interoperable ICT systems. This has been the case for quite some time. One reason why systemic gains from adopting eGov have not reached the levels sought after could be that, in many cases, ICT implementations are not enough. The transformation needed for eGov is not instantaneous; it requires various new ways of working.

    Enterprise Architecture (EA) has come to be seen as a possible solution to the apparent issues of developing, adopting and managing eGov successfully. By utilizing EA, it is argued that it is possible to bridge ICT systems and business processes, thus making the organization more efficient. However EA’s usefulness for eGov development and adoption is the subject of debate. Some researchers argue that EA lacks clearly defined scopes and concepts, which makes the use of EA in government difficult. Whereas other argues that although EA frameworks are comprehensive logical frameworks, they lack content that is related specifically to government organizations.

    The thesis posits the following research questions: What is the role of EA in eGov adoption in Swedish local government? together with three sub questions: What are the prerequisites for using EA in Swedish local eGov adoption? What has the Swedish local government in Örebro achieved with its use of EA in eGov adoption? And What problems have the Swedish local government in Örebro experienced in its use of EA when adopting eGov? To explore the role of EA in eGov adoption a longitudinal case study is carried out on the municipality of Örebro’s eGov project MovIT, a project launched in 2007 that ended in 2009. I study the prerequisites, results and problems associated with using EA in Swedish local government as part of eGov adoption. A comparative study is conducted of the goals of eGov, as stated in official eGov documents at EU and Swedish governmental levels will attest as to the supposed benefits of EA in contemporary EA-literature.

    From the study, it can be concluded that EA, as a phenomenon, is thought to be, if not a silverbullet, then at least a prerequisite to eGov success. In term of prerequisites, EA use cannot assist Swedish local government where there are more politicized objectives; in this situation, local government is required to look elsewhere to find support for its work. The study identify several critical issues from the empirical study of the prerequisites: distinction between administrative and political responsibilities; political mandate; political timing; resource allocation; coordination under NPM; dependence on providers; and choosing among standards and best practices. These issues need to be acknowledged and handled appropriately by Swedish local government in order to improve the chances for success in eGov adoption.

    The study also showed that NPM as governance model becomes a hindrance in eGov adoption, preventing the project from a more explicit use of an EA-framework and negatively affecting the projects possibility to adopt eGov. However, despite this structural problem, it is still possible – as observed – for a project that is based on EA-thinking to begin working.

    EGov, NPM and EA-thinking form a triad, with structural properties that, in some instances, correlate. In such cases, this can lead to positive changes. However, in other situations, they are contradictory, resulting in Swedish local government having a difficult time in adhering to the suggestions endorsed by the eGov project. This lead to incoherent progressions towards requested results. The existing structures hindered effective cooperation, both internally between different departments and externally with other local governments.

    This licentiate thesis has shown that the initial use of EA in local government eGov adoption is complex. Given the contradictory nature of NPM and eGov, local government has to acknowledge the negative impacts of NPM on eGov adoption. As well as acknowledging the issues that arise from EA use, a key area is a lack of support of local government in an area that is most likely to be endorsed by politicians. Politicians do not get re-elected based on efficient internal processes with a highly integrated ICT; rather, changes must be visible to citizens and businesses. This licentiate thesis has also shown that ‘EA-thinking’, as a means for local government, can move towards an EA without the explicit use of an EA framework or EA method. However, ‘EA-thinking’ may give rise to other issues that need to be acknowledged and dealt with. This licentiate thesis contributes to research by improving our understanding of the nature and importance of promoting and inhibiting different factors. Including critical issues for succeeding with eGov adoption, the negative effects of NPM and how EA-thinking can lead to positive changes, even though it cannot assist local government in all aspects deemed important to eGov adoption.

    In terms of practice, this thesis contributes by highlighting the problematic nature of institutionalized structures and the effect that this has on eGov adoption. It also contributes by enabling local governments to acknowledge the problems identified. This allows them to better understand their own development and possibly avoid similar problems or at least have a better understanding of how to handle the issues that arise.

    List of papers
    1. Implementation challenges: competing structures when new public management meets eGovernment
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implementation challenges: competing structures when new public management meets eGovernment
    2008 (English)In: Electronic government / [ed] Maria A.Wimmer, Hans J. Scholl, Enrico Ferro, Berlin: Springer , 2008, p. 25-36Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses practices, opportunities and challenges in local eGovernment project management by means of a case study of a Swedish city aiming at completely refocusing services, electronic and other, to become “citizen oriented”, meaning being able to meet the citizens’ needs more effectively. Based on empirical evidence collected by interviews and document studies, the article analyzes the development towards eGovernment and “the 24/7 agency”. Analyzing the case against eGovernment success factors we find seven challenges; political timing, resource allocation, political mandate, distinction between administrative and political responsibilities, coordination of departments, dependence on providers, and wise use of standards.. These challenges are critical because they mean choices important for national eGov development are open for local politics, complicated ad-hoc alliances among cities, and influences of strong individuals and groups. The article analyzes the challenges and finds that this situation is much a consequence of the prevailing strategic model for the public sector, New Public Management (NPM). This model by design leaves these issues in a void which has to be filled by negotiations among many actors with different roles, goals, and action space. The case shows that this makes national strategic eGov development volatile as it is dependent on a large number of local political assemblies; unlike the intention, NPM politicizes eGovernment.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Berlin: Springer, 2008
    Series
    Lecture notes in computer science ; 5184
    Keywords
    local government, electronic government, implementation, NPM, New public management
    National Category
    Information Systems
    Research subject
    Informatics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6376 (URN)10.1007/978-3-540-85204-9_3 (DOI)000259730900003 ()2-s2.0-52449114338 (Scopus ID)978-3-540-85203-2 (ISBN)
    Conference
    7th International Conference, EGOV 2008, Torino, Italy, August 31 - September 5, 2008
    Available from: 2009-04-24 Created: 2009-04-24 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
    2. The Örebro City Citizen-Oriented E-Government Strategy
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Örebro City Citizen-Oriented E-Government Strategy
    2008 (English)In: International Journal of Electronic Government Research, ISSN 1548-3886, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 69-88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses practices, opportunities, and challenges in local e-government project management by means of a case study involving interviews, document studies, and an element of action research, over eight months. The analysis against e-government success factors finds seven "critical issues"; political timing, resource allocation, political mandate, distinction between administrative and political responsibilities, coordination of departments, dependence on providers, and use of standards. We found these issues open for local choice, influences of strong individuals and groups, and chance. This is a consequence of the prevailing strategic model for the public sector, New Public Management, which leaves these issues to be filled by negotiations among many actors with different roles, goals, and action space. The general lesson is that there is a need for practical ways of acting strategically to reduce the risk level and increase the ability to implement policy. 

    Keywords
    local government, electronic government, NPM, implementation
    National Category
    Information Systems
    Research subject
    Informatics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6366 (URN)10.4018/jegr.2008100105 (DOI)2-s2.0-56549117673 (Scopus ID)
    Available from: 2009-04-24 Created: 2009-04-24 Last updated: 2020-01-30Bibliographically approved
    3. Taking initial steps towards enterprise architecture in local government
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Taking initial steps towards enterprise architecture in local government
    2011 (English)In: Electronic government and the information systems perspective / [ed] Kim Normann Andersen, Enrico Francesconi, Åke Grönlund, Tom M. van Engers, Berlin: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011, p. 26-40Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of immature use of Enterprise Architectures (EAs). In this paper we present results from an eGovernment initiative in a Swedish local government. This longitudinal case study illustrates the problems of taking initial steps of moving towards an EA during the development and implementation an eGovernment initiative. Through an analysis of goal achievements, we develop a better understanding of the challenges of using EA frameworks for local eGovernment-projects. Our results show that the immature use of the EA framework resulted in parts of the organization deviating from plan where individual members began to implement individual solutions, instead of basing decisions on the overall architecture. This impaired project’s possibility to develop towards an EA in an efficient way.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Berlin: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011
    Series
    Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; 6866
    Keywords
    eGovernment, e-service, Enterprise Architecture, Convergence, Goal achievement, Electronic Government
    National Category
    Human Aspects of ICT Information Systems
    Research subject
    Informatics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-20520 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-22961-9_3 (DOI)
    Conference
    Second International Conference, EGOVIS 2011, Toulouse, France, August 29 – September 2
    Available from: 2011-12-08 Created: 2011-12-08 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
  • 2.
    Ask, Andreas
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Grönlund, Åke
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Implementation challenges: competing structures when new public management meets eGovernment2008In: Electronic government / [ed] Maria A.Wimmer, Hans J. Scholl, Enrico Ferro, Berlin: Springer , 2008, p. 25-36Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses practices, opportunities and challenges in local eGovernment project management by means of a case study of a Swedish city aiming at completely refocusing services, electronic and other, to become “citizen oriented”, meaning being able to meet the citizens’ needs more effectively. Based on empirical evidence collected by interviews and document studies, the article analyzes the development towards eGovernment and “the 24/7 agency”. Analyzing the case against eGovernment success factors we find seven challenges; political timing, resource allocation, political mandate, distinction between administrative and political responsibilities, coordination of departments, dependence on providers, and wise use of standards.. These challenges are critical because they mean choices important for national eGov development are open for local politics, complicated ad-hoc alliances among cities, and influences of strong individuals and groups. The article analyzes the challenges and finds that this situation is much a consequence of the prevailing strategic model for the public sector, New Public Management (NPM). This model by design leaves these issues in a void which has to be filled by negotiations among many actors with different roles, goals, and action space. The case shows that this makes national strategic eGov development volatile as it is dependent on a large number of local political assemblies; unlike the intention, NPM politicizes eGovernment.

  • 3.
    Ask, Andreas
    et al.
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Hatakka, Mathias
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Grönlund, Åke
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    The Örebro city citizen-oriented e-Government strategy2009In: Social and organizational developments through emerging e-Government applications: new principles and concepts / [ed] Vishanth Weerakkody, Hershey, PA: IGI Global , 2009, p. 233-253Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Ask, Andreas
    et al.
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Hatakka, Mathias
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Grönlund, Åke
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    The Örebro city citizen-oriented e-Government strategy2009In: Handbook of research on strategies for local e-government adoption and implementation: comparative studies / [ed] Christopher G. Reddick, Hershey, PA: IGI Global , 2009, p. 752-772Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Ask, Andreas
    et al.
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Hatakka, Mathias
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Grönlund, Åke
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    The Örebro City Citizen-Oriented E-Government Strategy2008In: International Journal of Electronic Government Research, ISSN 1548-3886, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 69-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses practices, opportunities, and challenges in local e-government project management by means of a case study involving interviews, document studies, and an element of action research, over eight months. The analysis against e-government success factors finds seven "critical issues"; political timing, resource allocation, political mandate, distinction between administrative and political responsibilities, coordination of departments, dependence on providers, and use of standards. We found these issues open for local choice, influences of strong individuals and groups, and chance. This is a consequence of the prevailing strategic model for the public sector, New Public Management, which leaves these issues to be filled by negotiations among many actors with different roles, goals, and action space. The general lesson is that there is a need for practical ways of acting strategically to reduce the risk level and increase the ability to implement policy. 

  • 6.
    Ask, Andreas
    et al.
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Hedström, Karin
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Taking initial steps towards enterprise architecture in local government2011In: Electronic government and the information systems perspective / [ed] Kim Normann Andersen, Enrico Francesconi, Åke Grönlund, Tom M. van Engers, Berlin: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011, p. 26-40Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of immature use of Enterprise Architectures (EAs). In this paper we present results from an eGovernment initiative in a Swedish local government. This longitudinal case study illustrates the problems of taking initial steps of moving towards an EA during the development and implementation an eGovernment initiative. Through an analysis of goal achievements, we develop a better understanding of the challenges of using EA frameworks for local eGovernment-projects. Our results show that the immature use of the EA framework resulted in parts of the organization deviating from plan where individual members began to implement individual solutions, instead of basing decisions on the overall architecture. This impaired project’s possibility to develop towards an EA in an efficient way.

  • 7.
    Grönlund, Åke
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Hatakka, Mathias
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Ask, Andreas
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Inclusion in the e-service society: investigating administrative literacy requirements for using e-services2007In: Electronic government / [ed] Maria A.Wimmer, Jochen Scholl, Åke Grönlund, Berlin: Springer , 2007, p. 216-227Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates potential changes in requirements for "administrative literacy" - knowledge and skills required from citizens - when manual services are replaced by electronic ones. Do requirements increase, decrease or change qualitatively? We compare manual and electronic versions of ten commonly used services. The needs for knowledge and skills, content and procedures were considerably less for the e-services in eight out of ten cases; however, in complicated services there may rather be a change of skills, e.g. replacing verbal skills with skill in searching for information online. E-services relieve the user of some requirements; hence one obstacle for inclusion is reduced. However, we also found problems with the e-services implying that design of e-services should be informed by the kind of measure we have used as it is of great importance for inclusion in the e-society. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007.

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