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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2021

Jwan Khisro, Tomas Lindroth and Johan Magnusson

The purpose of this study is to contribute to research concerning the role of digital infrastructure in digital government. This is done by answering the research…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to contribute to research concerning the role of digital infrastructure in digital government. This is done by answering the research question: how does digital infrastructuring constrain ambidexterity in public sector organizations?

Design/methodology/approach

The research is designed as a clinical inquiry in a large Swedish municipality, involving data collection in the form of interviews and internal documents. The method of analysis involves both exploring generative mechanisms in digital infrastructuring and theorizing on the findings based on previous literature.

Findings

The findings identify four generative mechanisms through which stability and change in digital infrastructuring constrain ambidexterity in terms of both efficiency (exploitation) and innovation (exploration).

Research limitations/implications

This study’s limitations are related to international and intersectoral transferability and risks associated with its approach to clinical inquiry. The main implications are its contribution to the literature on how stability counteracts not only innovation but also efficiency and how change counteracts not only efficiency but also innovation.

Practical implications

This study identifies clear generative mechanisms that should be avoided by managers striving for digital government, and it offers clear recommendations for said managers regarding how to avoid them.

Social implications

This study offers implications for national-level digital infrastructure policy and contributes to efforts to increase the capabilities of digital government.

Originality/value

As two of the four identified generative mechanisms are novel contributions, this study offers a concrete addition to existing research. This study has resulted in factual change in the studied organization as well as at the national level through successful dissemination of the findings for both policy and practice in other public sector organizations.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2019

Roser Pujadas and Daniel Curto-Millet

While digital platforms tend to be unproblematically presented as the infrastructure of the sharing economy – as matchmakers of supply and demand – the authors argue that…

Abstract

While digital platforms tend to be unproblematically presented as the infrastructure of the sharing economy – as matchmakers of supply and demand – the authors argue that constituting the boundaries of infrastructures is political and performative, that is, it is implicated in ontological politics, with consequences for the distribution of responsibilities (Latour, 2003; Mol, 1999, 2013; Woolgar & Lezaun, 2013). Drawing on an empirical case study of Uber, including an analysis of court cases, the authors investigate the material-discursive production of digital platforms and their participation in the reconfiguring of the world (Barad, 2007), and examine how the (in)visibility of the digital infrastructure is mobilized (Larkin, 2013) to this effect. The authors argue that the representation of Uber as a “digital platform,” as “just the technological infrastructure” connecting car drivers with clients, is a political act that attempts to redefine social responsibilities, while obscuring important dimensions of the algorithmic infrastructure that regulates this socioeconomic practice. The authors also show how some of these (in)visibilities become exposed in court, and some of the boundaries reshaped, with implications for the constitution of objects, subjects and their responsibilities. Thus, while thinking infrastructures do play a role in regulating and shaping practice through algorithms, it could be otherwise. Thinking infrastructures relationally decentre digital platforms and encourage us to study them as part of ongoing and contested entanglements in practice.

Details

Thinking Infrastructures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-558-0

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Case study
Publication date: 30 November 2021

Harekrishna Misra

Rendering digital services have taken centerstage in the current ICT for development discourse. E-Government services are mostly under this discourse with the aim to…

Abstract

Structured abstract

Rendering digital services have taken centerstage in the current ICT for development discourse. E-Government services are mostly under this discourse with the aim to provide citizen centric services in the public domain. Business and development organizations alike are also investing in developing their own digital infrastructure for rendering services to its stakeholders. This case describes scenario in which a cooperative organization wishes to use digital infrastructure and provide digital services to its farmer members. The cooperative continued investing in ICT since the last couple of decades and constantly upgraded it to ease the transaction and bring efficiency and reduce information asymmetry. This had greatly benefitted the members. However, the cooperative is aware that its communication network built on the wireless medium has its own limitations in introducing new services and integrating its databases and applications. The cooperative took note of “Digital India (DI)” initiatives to provide digital services to rural areas and build an ecosystem to empower the citizens in its governance set up. This DI policy has implicit provisions of better networking protocols with improved bandwidth. The organization has a dilemma to continue with investing its own resources or explore possibility of piggybacking on the DI initiative. The cooperative wished to examine the total cost of ownership in either case and assess the feasibility of converging with the infrastructure created by the government.

Case synopsis

The Government Information Technology Policies are increasingly favouring citizens and in favour of shared infrastructure and services. It is worth the examination to evaluate strategies to deploy IT infrastructure and services with optimized cost and better returns in an enterprise. This is far more important for a social enterprise like AMALSAD cooperative (user-owned firm) that has deployed its own IT infrastructure and ITeS. AMALSAD cooperative deployed its IT assets long back and in the meanwhile, the Government policy is in favour of providing services over the internet.

Leaning objectives

The case serves to help students to understand the theoretical concept of Enterprise information systems infrastructure and services. It brings to the students understanding: the drivers of IT infrastructure to provide digital services; challenges that would make the social enterprise (in this case user-owned firm) to understand the opportunities and challenges of deploying the right digital infrastructure and get services on demand. The case presents the scenarios for the students to deliberate and find answers to the right approach for estimating the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Social implications

The case situation presents a scenario for digital government services. Most of the customer-facing enterprises including social enterprises are also providing digital services. It is important that such services converge at an optimized TCO.

Complexity academic level

Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 7: Management Science.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 26 November 2021

However, like many other important sections in the bill, the funding for new digital infrastructure has been cut drastically. Although digital access is a policy priority…

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB265736

ISSN: 2633-304X

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Geographic
Topical
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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Edward J. Oughton, Zoraida Frias, Mischa Dohler, Jason Whalley, Douglas Sicker, Jim W. Hall, Jon Crowcroft and David D. Cleevely

Public policy requires effective identification of the current and emerging issues being faced in industry and beyond. This paper aims to identify a set of key issues…

Abstract

Purpose

Public policy requires effective identification of the current and emerging issues being faced in industry and beyond. This paper aims to identify a set of key issues currently facing digital communications and reviews their relevance for the strategic provision of infrastructure, particularly within the UK context.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology focusses on taking a horizon-scanning approach to obtaining current information from a range of authoritative decision makers across industry, government and academia. After structuring the issues identified, these areas are explored by a multi-disciplinary research team covering engineering, economics and computer science.

Findings

Five key categories were identified including future demand; coverage and capacity; policy and regulation; economics and business models; and technology. The results are reported for both fixed and wireless networks. Shared issues affecting the wider digital ecosystem are also identified including Brexit, connecting remote areas and the degree to which the economics of infrastructure allows for building multiple overlapping infrastructures. The authors find that future demand uncertainty is one of the major issues affecting the digital communications sector driven by rigid willingness-to-pay, weak revenue and an increasing shift from fixed to wireless technologies. Policy must create the market conditions that encourage the entry of new competitors with innovative thinking and disruptive business models.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the analysis is that it is quite UK-focussed; hence, further research could broaden this analysis to assessing issues at a continental or global scale.

Originality/value

The value of this paper originates from the breadth of the expert elicitation exercise carried out to gather the initial set of issues, followed by the analysis of this data by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers. The results direct a future research agenda, as many issues are indicative of a lack of existing evidence to support effective decision-making.

Details

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5038

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2020

Normaz Wana Ismail

Digital technology is gaining attention among many scholars as a way to facilitate trade. This study aims to investigate three important digital dimensions (DD), namely…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital technology is gaining attention among many scholars as a way to facilitate trade. This study aims to investigate three important digital dimensions (DD), namely, digital infrastructure, digital usage and digital security on trade using selected Asian countries and 20 selected trade partners. Digital infrastructure focussed on the availability and accessibility of digital infrastructure in exporting and importing countries. The second dimension, digital usage, highlights the importance of household usage of mobile phones, broadband data and the internet. Finally, the third dimension focusses on digital security as many online transactions occur across the globe.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses the gravity model to investigate the impact of DD as tools to facilitate trade in selected Asian countries with selected trading partners between 2003 and 2017. The Hausman test is used to determine whether to use the random effect model or fixed effect model. However, for robustness, the Hausman and Taylor estimation is used to allow the time-invariant model to be included and at the same time to remove correlations between the error terms.

Findings

The result of this study confirmed that having digital infrastructure is not sufficient for trade facilitation, but it must be supported with an intensity of use by businesses and consumers and be accompanied by strong internet security for trade. The study also revealed that a narrowing digital divide in terms internet users and security will be a benefit to both trade partners in a transaction through better and efficient trade facilitation.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature in three ways. First, the classification of DD is used to identify which dimensions need to be addressed for policymakers. Most studies focussed on the first two dimensions without including security dimensions. Second, the authors estimate digital trade facilitation variables for both exporters and importers to ensure unbiased results between two trade partners. Finally, this study introduces new variables in the analysis of the digital user gap and the digital security gap as indicators for the digital divide.

Details

Studies in Economics and Finance, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1086-7376

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2018

Lloyd Levine

Access to high-speed Internet is essential for full and consequential participation in the civic, economic, and education systems of modern life. Yet 30% of Californians…

Abstract

Access to high-speed Internet is essential for full and consequential participation in the civic, economic, and education systems of modern life. Yet 30% of Californians continue to lack “meaningful Internet access” at home. This digital divide is worse among already disadvantaged communities and prevents rural, lower-income, and disabled individuals from fully participating in the civic, economic, and education systems of life in 2018. This chapter establishes the magnitude of the digital divide, examines the factors that contribute to the Divide, and looks at which groups are most affected. Successful government programs that invested in utility infrastructure and adoption, such as the Rural Electrification Act, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the California Advanced Services Fund, are examined to provide a foundation for broadband specific policy recommendations. The chapter sets up a framework for policy recommendations by segmenting the population based upon the concepts of material and motivational access and establishing meaningful Internet access as the goal for policy-makers. The chapter puts forth a number of specific policy recommendations to address the technological disparity and prevent it from furthering the economic and educational divides.

Details

The M in CITAMS@30
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-669-3

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2015

Julie Freeman and Sora Park

This article explores challenges for rural Australian local governments during the transition to high-speed broadband infrastructure. Despite the National Broadband…

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1002

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores challenges for rural Australian local governments during the transition to high-speed broadband infrastructure. Despite the National Broadband Network’s promised ubiquitous connectivity, significant access discrepancies remain between rural and urban areas.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical findings are drawn from a full-day workshop on digital connectivity, which included participants from seven rural local governments in New South Wales, Australia. Thematic analysis of the workshop transcript was undertaken to extrapolate recurring nuances of rural digital exclusion.

Findings

Rural communities face inequitable prospects for digital inclusion, and authorities confront dual issues of accommodating connected and unconnected citizens. Many areas have no or poor broadband access, and different digital engagement expectations are held by citizens and local governments. Citizens seek interactive opportunities, but rural authorities often lack the necessary resources to offer advanced participatory practices.

Research limitations/implications

While this research draws from a small sample of government officials, their insights are, nonetheless, heuristically valuable in identifying connectivity issues faced in rural Australia. These issues can guide further research into other regions as well as civic experiences of digital inclusion.

Practical implications

There is a need to reconceive Australia’s current policy approach to broadband. Greater rural digital inclusion may be achieved by focusing on connectivity as a public interest goal, targeting infrastructure developments to suit local contexts and implementing participatory digital government practices.

Originality/value

The actions suggested would help ensure equity of digital inclusion across Australian municipal areas. Without such changes, there is a risk of rural citizens facing further marginalisation through digital exclusion.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2021

Long Chen and Jennifer Whyte

As the engineering design process becomes increasingly complex, multidisciplinary teams need to work together, integrating diverse expertise across a range of disciplinary…

Abstract

Purpose

As the engineering design process becomes increasingly complex, multidisciplinary teams need to work together, integrating diverse expertise across a range of disciplinary models. Where changes arise, these design teams often find it difficult to handle these design changes due to the complexity and interdependencies inherent in engineering systems. This paper aims to develop an innovative approach to clarifying system interdependencies and predicting the design change propagation at the asset level in complex engineering systems based on the digital-twin-driven design structure matrix (DSM).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first defines the digital-twin-driven DSM in terms of elements and interdependencies, where the authors have defined three types of interdependency, namely, geospatial, physical and logical, at the asset level. The digital twin model was then used to generate the large-scale DSMs of complex engineering systems. The cluster analysis was further conducted based on the improved Idicula–Gutierrez–Thebeau algorithm (IGTA-Plus) to decompose such DSMs into modules for the convenience and efficiency of predicting design change propagation. Finally, a design change propagation prediction method based on the digital-twin-driven DSM has been developed by integrating the change prediction method (CPM), a load-capacity model and fuzzy linguistics. A section of an infrastructure mega-project in London was selected as a case study to illustrate and validate the developed approach.

Findings

The digital-twin-driven DSM has been formally defined by the spatial algebra and Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema. Based on the definitions, an innovative approach has been further developed to (1) automatically generate a digital-twin-driven DSM through the use of IFC files, (2) to decompose these large-scale DSMs into modules through the use of IGTA-Plus and (3) predict the design change propagation by integrating a digital-twin-driven DSM, CPM, a load-capacity model and fuzzy linguistics. From the case study, the results showed that the developed approach can help designers to predict and manage design changes quantitatively and conveniently.

Originality/value

This research contributes to a new perspective of the DSM and digital twin for design change management and can be beneficial to assist designers in making reasonable decisions when changing the designs of complex engineering systems.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

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Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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