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Standardized but flexible information exchange for networked public administrations: A method

Erwin Folmer (Department of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)
Martin Matzner (European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), University of Münster, Münster, Germany)
Michael Räckers (European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), University of Münster, Münster, Germany)
Hendrik Scholta (European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), University of Münster, Münster, Germany)
Jörg Becker (European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), University of Münster, Münster, Germany)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 16 May 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

Governmental institutions must cooperate with other organizations across institutional boundaries to achieve high-quality service offerings. The required cooperation may lead to complex networks, including several of the thousands of public administrations in the many federal layers of a single country. This paper aims to address the key challenge of the proper management of the information exchange between networked actors, which is generally conducted by means of forms.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the design science research paradigm, this research develops a method that assists in the design and maintenance of forms in public administrations.

Findings

Discussions in the project’s focus groups add evidence to the researchers’ expectation that the method developed in this study improves the quality of forms while reducing the effort required for their design and maintenance.

Research limitations/implications

This paper includes an evaluation of the approach based on qualitative feedback from the project’s stakeholders, although the implementation of the workflows and procedures is subject to future work that evaluates the approach in a variety of practical settings.

Practical implications

The method developed in this paper allows public administrations and legislative authorities to design and manage forms in a cooperative way. Software developers can assume the existence of information structures. The approach extends the BOMOS standardization framework to the operational level.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is the development of a novel method that will change how information exchange is managed in public administrations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This article is a revision of the article “A Method for Managing IT-Based Boundary Objects: Design and Application in the Public Sector” that was presented at the European Conference on Information Systems 2014.

Citation

Folmer, E., Matzner, M., Räckers, M., Scholta, H. and Becker, J. (2016), "Standardized but flexible information exchange for networked public administrations: A method", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 239-255. https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-09-2014-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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