To mind IT or not to mind IT

Helle Zinner Henriksen (Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Boriana Rukanova (Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Publication date: 30 May 2011



The objective of this research is to study the significance of technology – as a driver as well as a barrier – for e‐customs implementation. E‐customs is seen here as a subset of e‐government because it deals with digital government‐to‐business interaction.


The study applies the syntegration process (Beer, 1994) as a method of knowledge exchange among a heterogeneous group of people involved in e‐customs implementation. The research methodology is therefore a qualitative, explorative and inductive search for drivers and barriers.


The data suggest that technology is seen more as a means rather than an end in relation to e‐customs implementation. Legal, regulatory and policy factors, as well as human and organizational factors are suggested to be of similar importance.

Research limitations/implications

The study demonstrates the strength in applying more interpretative research approaches to less explored domains. It highlights that practitioners perceive certain variables, which are less obvious to the traditional research‐driven models, to be of importance.

Practical implications

The results should be applied with care, bearing in mind that our conclusions are based on a single syntegration process. The robust foundation of the Living Lab as a platform for collaboration (beyond the syntegration workshop) suggests that the insights can provide useful input to practitioners who need to implement an e‐customs solutions. It provides a more balanced view because data are generated from a heterogeneous group of stakeholders involved in e‐customs implementation.


The process of data collection deviates from the more traditional case study where the design of the study guides the data collection.



Zinner Henriksen, H. and Rukanova, B. (2011), "To mind IT or not to mind IT", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 155-166.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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