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  • 1.
    Bernhard, Irene
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
    E-government and E-governance: Local Implementation of E-government Polices in Sweden2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It is recognized in international research that the public sector has been transformed into a networked, open and more flexible, informal and interactive governance structure. This is described as a transition from “government to governance”. Sweden is one of the international leaders with regards to e-government development. The objective of this thesis is to provide a deeper understanding of how e-government policies are implemented in an e-governance context, through empirical case studies in Sweden. The focus is on the local level. The overall research question is: How is e-government policy put into practice when focusing on the local level? This is reported in four articles.

    Case study methodology is used as research method, including interviews, focus group interviews, document studies, and some participatory observations. The analysis is partly based on an inductive methodological approach, since this is a new, emerging field of innovative policy and practice.

    The analysis arrives at three overarching conclusions: (1) In practice, when e-government policy is implemented and translated at the local level, it tends to happen in an e-governance setting conducted by policy entrepreneurs or promoted by entrepreneurial behaviour in public administration. E-government policies are implemented in relation to local cultures, norms and economic structures. (2) Implementation of e-government and e-governance initiatives requires trust in the service provision among public administrators as well as among citizens. Efficiency and citizen-centred approaches in the redesign of information relationships between public administration and citizens to create some sort of added value are crucial. (3) The thesis indicates that there are two main implications of municipal contact centres (CCs): they localize public services and they combine different services into a one-stop practice striving to provide “holistic” services to the individual citizen. However, although the use of ICT is essential for the organisational transformation, the results indicate that the organisational settings and internal anchoring are greater constraints than new technology for implementation of local e-government and e-governance initiatives in the form of contact centres. One example for potential added value is the source of information of citizens’ issues through the implementation of municipal contact centres, which may have a positive impact on the conditions for local planning.

  • 2.
    Bernhard, Irene
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
    Local e-Government in Sweden: Municipal Contact Centre Implementation with Focus on Public Administrators and Citizens2014In: The Journal of Community Informatics, ISSN 1712-4441, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 1-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the article is to analyze the implementation of municipal contact centers (CCs) – an e-government initiative on the local level- from the perspectives of  public adiminstrators and the citizens. This article is based on case studies from four Swedish municipalites. The results indicate that the CCs: contribute to increased access to municipal service, localize public services and combine different services into a one-stop practice striving to provide a “holistic” approach to the individual citizen in her local context. However, the quality of the service also depends on the organization of the work  within the back office of the municipalities. All issues from citizens were registered in a common database which may be a potantail contribution local planning and to increased knowledge about the citizens’ needs and perceptions regarding municipality services.  

  • 3.
    Bernhard, Irene
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
    Policy entrepreneurs in networks: implementation of two Swedish municipal contact centres from an actor perspective2014In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 288-302Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aims to elaborate on the meanings of policy entrepreneurs and through the conceptualisation analysing implementation of local municipal contact centres - a Swedish local e-governmental initiative. The paper builds on qualitative case studies including interviews, observations and document analysis, all analysed through the perspective of policy entrepreneurs. Local policies are implemented in relation to local cultures, norms and economic structures. The networked governance structure demands entrepreneurial actors to combine resources and interests into a change. Here it is identified both theoretically and practical, two types of such entrepreneurial actors. The issue entrepreneur focuses on the issue as such and focuses on the solution to a single problem. The political entrepreneur, on the other hand, focuses on core values and long term structural changes. The emerging networked governance structure asks for improved knowledge on policy entrepreneurship both for analytical and practical improvements. The findings may provide useful information for municipal e-government planning specifically when planning for implementing contact centres. The study enriches the existing literature on policy entrepreneurs in networks expanding the roles to include also local e-government contexts.

  • 4.
    Bernhard, Irene
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
    Wihlborg, Elin
    Linköpings Universitet.
    Regional E-Governance: Promoting Entrepreneurial Behaviour in Public Administration2014In: Agglomeration, Clusters and Entrepreneurship: Studies in Regional Economic Development / [ed] Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson, Roger R. Stough, Cheltenham, UK & Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014, 1, p. 199-220Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Public e-services are technical innovations leading to organisational changes. The basic pre-conditions of e-services in the public sector differ in several perspectives from the private sector and e-commerce. For example when the “customers” are citizens instead of consumers the distribution of, access to and use of the services are different. Thus there are demands for developing general models and approaches to analyse as well as promote public e-services. Governmental e-services bring out innovative organisational changes based on how the public sector can meet the e-society and bridge over formerly unseen divides. However, such changes demand an innovative behaviour among actors in usually strictly and formally defined roles. 

    The conceptual model developed in this paper will discuss the differences of e-services, e-administration and e-democracy. Following on to this model an illustrative case of a public e-service on the Internet is presented analysed through the model. The e-service extending the geographical reach of public organisations is the Common application system for upper secondary school, in the regions of West Sweden and Östergötland in Sweden.

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