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Exploring Digitally Enabled Service Transformation in the Public Sector: Would Institutional and Structuration Theory Concepts Keep the Research Talking?

Exploring Digitally Enabled Service Transformation in the Public Sector: Would Institutional and Structuration Theory Concepts Keep the Research Talking?
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Author(s): Amizan Omar (Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK), Ramzi El-Haddadeh (College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar) and Vishanth Weerakkody (Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK)
Copyright: 2016
Volume: 12
Issue: 4
Pages: 14
Source title: International Journal of Electronic Government Research (IJEGR)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Vishanth Weerakkody (Bradford University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/IJEGR.2016100101

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Abstract

Digitally Enabled Service Transformation (DEST) in the Public Sector (PS) offers a unique opportunity for public administration (PA) and information systems (IS) disciplines to interlace. Albeit complicating the deployment of a coherent analytical lens in its study, such uniqueness has formed a basis to enable a deviance in the theoretical selection. Interestingly, there has been a gradual move from the adoption of native PA/IS theories towards imported social sciences theories including Institutional and Structuration. Institutional Theory provides a way of viewing and explaining why and how institutions emerge in a certain way within a given context. The theory however is being criticized for its structural biasness, as it avoids explanations situated at individual or same level of analysis. Such gap is filled with the adoption of Structuration Theory, which also focuses on how structures - as micro-institutional foundation, arise, or are maintained through co-evolution of actions and institutions. The fusion of concepts from both theories would potentially maximise the debates on DEST in PS across diverse perspectives, and continue to keep the ‘research talking' by revealing novel insights.

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