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Diverging approaches to benefits realization from public ICT investments: A study of benefits realization methods in Norway

Øyvind Hellang (Department of Information Systems, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway)
Leif Skiftenes Flak (Department of Information Systems, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway)
Tero Päivärinta (Computer and Systems Science, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Publication date: 15 March 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore practical methods for benefits realisation, with the intention of investigating if they are variance of a theme or rather can be classified as different approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a document study of Norwegian methods‐in‐use, this study uses an analytical comparison following an assimilation‐accommodation procedure to categorize the chosen methods as instances of approaches to benefits realisation.

Findings

This study documents the emergence of several methods from practice in the last half decade. This analysis suggests the existence of three distinct approaches to benefits realisation and defines these according to their central features.

Research limitations/implications

This is a document study that could have been enhanced by empirical data on first‐hand experiences from the use of these methods. The findings of this study document a critical investigation of methods for benefits realisation, providing an enhanced base framework of three approaches for future research to build on.

Originality/value

This study provides fresh perspectives on benefits realisation by suggesting that existing methods differ to an extent that the authors argue they belong to different approaches that are likely to cause quite different results in practical use. This has important implications for both research and practice, as research should analyse benefits realisation efforts according to approach, and practice needs to carefully consider their choice of method based on their actual needs. Further, the paper employs an established analytical framework for a novel definition of approaches to the field of benefits realisation in the public sector.

Keywords

Citation

Hellang, Ø., Skiftenes Flak, L. and Päivärinta, T. (2013), "Diverging approaches to benefits realization from public ICT investments: A study of benefits realization methods in Norway", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 93-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506161311308188

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited