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Assessment of Application of Participatory Methods for Complex Adaptive Systems  in the Public Sector
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Health Informatics and Logistics.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The provision of services by the public sector is the result of a complex adaptive system at work, and involves a large number of stakeholders from different institutions and organisations. In the era of rapid change in requirements and expectations from the public sector, the management of change processes asks for the involvement of many stakeholders from different layers and positions.

Participatory methods provide the ability to involve a wide range of stakeholders, but despite their case-wise documented successes, and well described application in involving citizens in governmental decision-making, very little evidence exists of their role when engaging professionals.

This study assesses the application of participatory methods as an approach to support change processes in the public sector from a complex adaptive system perspective. The purpose of this two-phase exploratory sequential mixed method study with descriptive parts is to first qualitatively explore which needs for change in the public sector could benefit from participatory methods, and then to apply participatory methods for six experiments to assess how effective such methods are to support change processes of complex adaptive systems in the public sector.

Four methods have been included: participatory simulation, gamification, Q methodology and participatory model building. Each of the cases has been scored on a set of frameworks. The cases have been obtained from the fields of road networks, transit and healthcare.

Analysis across the experiment found several trends. Firstly, experiments at the field-level, where expertise and knowledge outside one organisation are required, showed stronger democratisation and focus on mapping out diversity compared to other levels. Similarly, experiments at the sub-system level are more likely to be focused on reaching consensus and using participants for advising. Secondly, a pattern has been found between higher participatory level of a method, a higher degree of power-sharing between the participants, and better results of an assessment.  A correlation was observed between overall assessment and other parameters of applications: communication efficiency, knowledge between causes and effects, and direction from leadership.

The recognition that the public sector is a complex adaptive system proved to be more present in the service-oriented fields than in the infrastructure fields. Larger-scale issues at the organisation-level or even field-level proved to be more complex than issues at the subsystem level.

Participatory methods proved to be effective for providing a grip on issues of a complex nature. Particular strengths were the ability to provide for open structures for thinking outside the box, and the use for identification of bottlenecks and constraints in systems. The ability to identify differences in stakeholder perspectives proves valuable, and can be gathered from a wide range of sources in and around a participatory setting.

However, successful participatory methods need high communication efficiency, use retroactive evaluation and need to be done based on high stakeholder collaboration. These costs can outweigh all benefits if the problem is not complex or preparation has not been appropriately performed. Access to the right people, support from the organisation and motivated participants, as well as the right choice for the level of participation proved crucial for its success.

Abstract [sv]

Offentliga sektorns tillhandahållande av tjänster är resultatet av ett komplext adaptivt system och involverar ett stort antal intressenter från olika institutioner och organisationer. I en tid av snabba förändringar av kraven och förväntningar från offentliga sektorn förändras behövs förändringsprocesser som involverar intressenter från olika nivåer och positioner.

Participativa metoder ger möjlighet att involvera ett brett spektrum av intressenter. Även om participativa metoder visat sig framgångsrika i enstaka fall, och tillämpningar när det gäller att involvera medborgarna i myndighetsbeslut är väl beskrivna, så finns mycket litet bevis på metodens roll när det gäller yrkesverksamma.

Denna studie undersöker tillämpningen av participativa metoder för stödja förändringsprocesser i den offentliga sektorn ur ett komplext adaptivt systemperspektiv. Syftet med denna tvåstegs explorativa sekventiella blandade metodstudie med deskriptiva delar är att först kvalitativt undersöka vilka förändringsbehov i den offentliga sektorn som kan dra nytta av participativa metoder och sedan att tillämpa participativa metoder i sex experiment för att bedöma hur effektiva sådana metoder är i att stödja förändringsprocesser av komplexa adaptiva system inom den offentliga sektorn.

Fyra metoder har innefattats: participativ simulering, gamification, Q-metodik och participativ modellbyggnad. Vart och ett av fallen har poängsatts utifrån ett ramverk. Fallen har hämtats från områdena vägnät, transit och hälsovård.

Analys av experimenten påvisar flera trender. För det första visade experiment på fältnivå, där expertis och kunskap utanför en organisation krävs, en starkare demokratisering och fokus på att kartlägga mångfalden jämfört med andra nivåer. På samma sätt visar experiment på delsystemnivå mer sannolikt att fokus ligger på att nå konsensus och använda deltagare för rådgivning. För det andra har ett mönster påvisats mellan högre deltagande nivå av en metod, högre grad av fördelning mellan deltagarna och bättre resultat av en bedömning. En korrelation observerades mellan övergripande bedömning och andra applikationsparametrar: kommunikationseffektivitet, kunskap om orsaker och effekter och ledarskapsdirektiv.

Erkännandet av att den offentliga sektorn är ett komplext adaptivt system visade sig vara mer närvarande i de serviceorienterade områdena än inom infrastrukturen. Storskaliga problem på organisationsnivå eller till och med på fältnivå visade sig vara mer komplexa än problem på delsystemnivå.

Participativa metoder visade sig vara effektiva för att handlägga frågor av komplex natur. Särskilda styrkor var förmågan att tillhandahålla öppna strukturer för att tänka utanför lådan och att identifiera flaskhalsar och begränsningar i system. Möjligheten att identifiera skillnader i intressentperspektiv visar sig vara värdefull och kan samlas från ett brett spektrum av källor i och kring en deltagarmiljö.

Framgångsrika participativa metoder kräver hög kommunikationseffektivitet, användandet av retroaktiv utvärdering och måste baseras på samarbete med intressenter på hög nivå. Kostnader kan överskugga alla fördelar om problemet inte är komplext nog eller om förberedelserna inte har utförts på lämpligt sätt. Tillgång till rätt personer, stöd från organisationen och motiverade deltagare, liksom det rätta valet för nivån på deltagande visade sig vara avgörande för framgång.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, Sweden: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. , p. 81
Series
TRITA-CBH-FOU ; 2019:5
Keywords [en]
: participatory methods, complex adaptive system, public sector, change process, assessment
Keywords [sv]
participativa metoder, komplext adaptivt system, offentlig sektor, förändringsprocess, bedömning
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-243022ISBN: 978-91-7873-095-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-243022DiVA, id: diva2:1285113
Public defence
2019-02-26, T1 (Emmy Rappesalen), Hälsovägen 11, Huddinge, 10:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20190204

Projekt BVFF 2013-078

Available from: 2019-02-04 Created: 2019-02-01 Last updated: 2019-02-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Gaming Simulation Validation: Matching Participants’ Worldviews with Their Decisions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gaming Simulation Validation: Matching Participants’ Worldviews with Their Decisions
2019 (English)In: ISAGA 2018, 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Gaming simulation is a successful approach to many issues where a holistic view is important. However, to use results from gaming simulations, the game has to be validated. This paper proposes a two-step approach for process validation of behavior for the gaming simulation by comparing decisions that players make in a game with the perceptions that affect their real-life decisions. Two case studies, where this approach was applied, are presented and the results are analyzed and discussed. A strong correlation between behavior during the games and in the real world was observed. This correlation indicates that gaming simulations in these cases are validated and represent the real system in an accu-rate manner. Thus, these cases show that the proposed approach works and can be used for validation of gaming simulations.

Keywords
Gaming simulation, process validity, Q methodology, attribution theory
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-242967 (URN)
Conference
International Simulation and Gaming Association Conference, 9-13 July; Mahidol University,Nakorn Pathom, Thailand
Note

QCR 20190206

Available from: 2019-02-01 Created: 2019-02-01 Last updated: 2019-02-06Bibliographically approved
2. Gamifying Project Procurement to Incorporate Better Goals of Organizations in the Public Sector: A participatory simulation approach on a Swedish road construction use case
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gamifying Project Procurement to Incorporate Better Goals of Organizations in the Public Sector: A participatory simulation approach on a Swedish road construction use case
2019 (English)In: Operations Research PerspectivesArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Governmental institutions need to ensure work of infrastructures, and in most cases, it is done using project procurement process. Such processes have highly complex and dynamic interaction. It leads to issues, such as information asymmetry, over-specified tenders, not efficient feedback loops, etc. As result, projects can rarely match objectives of organizations. This paper explores the use of participatory simulation to help holistically investigate a project procurement process. Based on case studies from the Swedish road construction field, it can be concluded, that a participatory simulation is an effective approach to experiment with the effects of project procurement.

Keywords
project procurement, challenges in procurement, participatory simulation, road construction
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-242966 (URN)
Note

QC 20190204

Available from: 2019-02-01 Created: 2019-02-01 Last updated: 2019-02-04Bibliographically approved
3. A Feasibility Study for Gamification in Transport Maintenance: Requirements to implement gamification in heterogeneous organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Feasibility Study for Gamification in Transport Maintenance: Requirements to implement gamification in heterogeneous organizations
2015 (English)In: Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-Games), 2015 7th International Conference on, IEEE conference proceedings, 2015, p. 1-7Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Gamification has been successfully applied in many domains, but mostly for simple, isolated and operational tasks. The hope for gamification as a method to radically change and improve behavior, to provide incentives for sustained engagement has proven to be more difficult to get right. Applying gamification in large networked organizations with heterogeneous tasks remains a challenge. Applying gamification in such enterprise environments posits different requirements, and a match between these requirements and the institution needs to be investigated before venturing into the design and implementation of gamification. The current paper contributes a study where the authors investigate the feasibility of implementing gamification in Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration. Through an investigation of the institutional arrangements around data collection, procurement processes and links to institutional structures, the study finds areas within Trafikverket where gamification could be successfully applied, and suggests gaps and methods to apply gamification in other areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE conference proceedings, 2015
Keywords
gamification, feasibility, requirements, data mining, procurement
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-181420 (URN)10.1109/VS-GAMES.2015.7295758 (DOI)000380426500001 ()2-s2.0-84954518787 (Scopus ID)
External cooperation:
Conference
2015 IEEE 7th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications,16-18 Sept. 2015 , Skövde, Sweden
Note

QC 20160215

Available from: 2016-02-02 Created: 2016-02-01 Last updated: 2019-02-01Bibliographically approved
4. Perceptions of stakeholders in project procurement for road construction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceptions of stakeholders in project procurement for road construction
2018 (English)In: Cogent Business and Management, ISSN 2331-1975, Vol. 5, no 1, article id 1520447Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Planning transport system, building, operating and maintaining public roads and railways is typically performed by public institutions in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. In many cases, this collaboration is done with a procurement process. Despite the formal nature of such process, stakeholders can have different worldviews or perceptions leading to adverse effects on the final procurement result. This article is focused on how to find perceptions of stakeholders related to roadwork-related procurement processes using Q methodology. This methodology uses data from the stakeholders and searches for factors or groups within the data of participants who have similar opinions. A specific case of road procurement in Sweden is used to test the methodology. As a result, three clusters of perceptions are found. These clusters and their interpretation can be applied to many tasks that are related to complex adaptive systems such as policy-making, strategy generation, solution testing, training and others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018
Keywords
project sector procurement, Q methodology, complex systems, road construction
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-235885 (URN)10.1080/23311975.2018.1520447 (DOI)000445472400001 ()2-s2.0-85053918911 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20181008

Available from: 2018-10-08 Created: 2018-10-08 Last updated: 2019-02-04Bibliographically approved
5. A System of Systems of Mental Health in Cities: Digging Deep into the Origins of Complexity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A System of Systems of Mental Health in Cities: Digging Deep into the Origins of Complexity
2019 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Mental health in urban environments is often treated from a healthcare provision perspective. Research in recent decades showed that mental illness in cities is a result of dysfunctional coordination between different city systems and structures. Given the nature of the city as a system of systems, this work builds participatorily a general system dynamic model of factors that affect mental health in urban and regional environments. Through this method, we investigated the challenges of the application of such methodology to identify important factors, feedback loops, and dependencies between systems to move forward in planning for mental health in cities. The outcome is a general model that showed the importance of factors that vary from individuals, families to communities and feedback loops that span multiple systems such as the city physical infrastructures, social environments, schools, labor market, and healthcare provision.

Keywords
Mental Health, System Dynamics, Participatory Methods, Urban Health
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-243017 (URN)
Note

QC 20190208

Available from: 2019-02-01 Created: 2019-02-01 Last updated: 2019-02-08Bibliographically approved

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