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Realizing e-government benefits with minimal capabilities

Keld Pedersen (Department of Political Science, Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg, Denmark)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of the requirements for public sector organizations to implement benefits realization practices. The research compares benefits realization practices as suggested by the literature with actual practice with the goal of identifying both insufficiencies in the current literature and challenges in practice that must be overcome to improve the current situation.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study approach is used to study benefits realization across national and local government organizations.

Findings

Five major challenges that are not dealt with by existing literature were identified: benefits realization requires not just organizational capabilities, but also inter-organizational capabilities; coordination of benefits realization across organizational units, local and central government and across internal organizational levels is both essential and very challenging; managing benefits realization includes much more than integrating benefits realization practices in IT projects; different benefits realization practices are needed at central government level, local management level and case worker level; and different uses of technology require different levels of benefits realization capabilities and different practices. The case also illustrates that under certain conditions, organization can actually realize significant improvements with limited benefits realization capabilities: When IT is used not to change but to fully automate processes, the reliance on formal benefits realization practices is decreased.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on a single case.

Originality/value

There is only little empirical research studying benefits realization in a public sector context. Furthermore, the research studies benefits realization from an organizational process perspective, and not from the perspective of IT projects.

Keywords

Citation

Pedersen, K. (2017), "Realizing e-government benefits with minimal capabilities", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 262-285. https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-11-2016-0083

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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