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Diagnosing the techno‐relational action space: Finding institutional and individual dimensions for innovation in transformational government

Katarina Lindblad‐Gidlund (Department of Information Technology and Communication, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden)
Katarina Giritli Nygren (Department of Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 2 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion of the IT‐related public sector transformation by reintroducing the question of employees' organisational power and position in technological and technocratic systems.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine how formal organisational positions, together with the way in which employees position themselves in relation to technology, affect how employees interpret their accessible action space (position and action strategy), a survey in a local municipality was conducted.

Findings

As indicated in the hypothesis, the empirical results verify that the techno‐relational action space is two‐dimensional, consisting of both a formal position (how the organisational members are positioned) and a certain amount of action space outside a formal position (i.e. how they are position themselves). Elaborating on these dimensions generates rewarding insights into a micro‐change perspective where technology‐related innovation processes are concerned.

Practical implications

Identifying and acknowledging employees perceived techno‐relational action space is of great importance in understanding organisational members' participation, cooperation and innovative capability in government transformation.

Originality/value

The paper combines analysis of how the organisational members position themselves in relation to technology with how they are positioned organisationally in relation to technology and structures of power. Instead, the authors claim that the techno‐relational space is both a matter of how the organisational members position themselves in relation to technology and a matter of how they are positioned organisationally in relation to technology and structures of power.

Keywords

Citation

Lindblad‐Gidlund, K. and Giritli Nygren, K. (2011), "Diagnosing the techno‐relational action space: Finding institutional and individual dimensions for innovation in transformational government", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 364-378. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506161111173603

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited