Prindi

Steven Nommik

Title: CROSS-ORGANISATIONAL COLLABORATION MANAGEMENT OF ICT-BASED INNOVATION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR: THE CASE OF THE ESTONIAN EMPLOYMENT REGISTER

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Tiina Randma-Liiv, Dr. Veiko Lember

Opponent: Gerli Aavik-Märtma

Defense: 22 January 2020

 

Abstract: Cross-organisational collaboration management has been an important topic in academic literature, but it has been studied inconsistently and initiatives within public sector have received limited attention. Organisational boundaries are becoming increasingly blurry with the continuous digitalisation through new interaction patterns, resulting in a growing amount of cross-organisational collaborations, both across sectors and within the public sector. The aim of this thesis is to systematise the factors that surround cross-organisational collaboration management within the public sector and test it in the case of the Estonian national Employment Register. The analysis is conducted using an integrative analytical framework with data gathered through semi-structured interviews and document analysis. The case highlights the role of system conditions (pre-established connections; power relations, digital infrastructure), process challenges (differences in perspectives; organisation-centric approach) and management interventions (initial expansive engagement of actors followed by a focus in incremental development). The findings demonstrate the role of pre-existing informal connections in shaping a cross-organisational collaboration. The system conditions enabled a digitally capable agency (Estonian Tax and Customs Board) to capitalise on the opportunity with its technological capability and reputation to steer the Employment Register initiative. The ability to design a compatible human and machine-to-machine interactions remain key for future developments.

 

Keywords: collaboration; leadership; institutional design; digital innovation.