Implementing automatic sorting operations in the parcel delivery industry can dramatically improve both capacity and service quality but demands radical and complex…
Implementing automatic sorting operations in the parcel delivery industry can dramatically improve both capacity and service quality but demands radical and complex organizational change. The present in-depth grounded theory study examined a change process of this kind within one of the few global companies in the parcel delivery sector, focusing on three European hubs where automatic sorting had recently been introduced.
Grounded theory methodology, which facilitates the gradual emergence and dialogical interpretation of empirically grounded theoretical concepts, was particularly suited to the current project's open-ended research design and the hybrid (prescriptive but also constructive) nature of the change process under study. The investigation comprised iterative cycles of data collection, open coding, selective coding and theoretical coding over a three-year period.
In keeping with the dual nature of the change underway, a set of tensions were identified between pairs of opposite poles: manual vs automated, planned vs emergent and corporate vs site. The management of these tensions, which leveraged both prescriptive and sensemaking approaches, was found to trigger knowledge production, facilitating a gradual transition from high to low uncertainty and, consequently, progressive movement along the continuum between each pair of competing poles. Within this process, the industrial engineering function acted as an agent of change with a key orchestrating role.
As one of the first in-depth grounded theory analyses of tension management, this study contributes to the relatively recent debate on the recognition, analysis and handling of tensions and paradoxes in organizational change, suggesting innovative criteria for successful change management and identifying promising new avenues for research. From a managerial perspective, the study outcomes suggest that explicit recognition of uncertainty and tensions in organizational change can pave the way for solutions based on agility and continuous organizational learning.
Understanding how value is actually generated in e‐government projects is one of the most challenging, and relevant, issues in e‐government research. This paper aims to…
Understanding how value is actually generated in e‐government projects is one of the most challenging, and relevant, issues in e‐government research. This paper aims to investigate the contribution of service‐based information technology (IT) integration for generating value in the public sector, proposing a theoretical framework based on the theory of IT conversion effectiveness.
The paper illustrates this novel approach to electronic government evaluation with an exploratory case study of a service‐based IT integration project developed by the City of Genoa, showing how and why IT integration can substantially contribute to value generation in the public sector.
Contrarily to what one would expect according to the original theory of IT conversion effectiveness, value generation may happen even with no substantial growth in the pre‐existing IT asset portfolio. In fact, what is truly important is not only the availability of IT assets (policy output), but also their proper use (policy outcome) and their final effects on policy takers (policy impact). The case study shows how a low‐cost and small IT integration project based on agile information system development practices can significantly leverage the legacy systems, enhancing the overall degree of IT conversion effectiveness (first stage), with expected positive effects on policy outcomes (second stage) and policy impacts (third stage). The enabling effect of the web services technology has a central role in the overall value generation process.
While addressing a literature void in the context of public sector, this theoretical approach is substantial as it can be used to evaluate and maximize the value generated by e‐government projects, with a special focus on service‐based IT integration projects.