The influence of Information Society Technologies on Evolution in the Public Administration
Dr. Jaro Berce, Secretary
Government RS Office for EU Affairs, Slovenia

The following dissertation involves research  intended to show which influences, factors and challenges govern  the implementation and acceptance of digital  (information  and communication) technologies and non-digital (knowledge , learning , organization  culture, proper budgeting, etc.) tools for governance  within a public  administration. In the era of the “information society ”, the digitalization  of processes , work and organization issues are demanding ever-faster change . That “change” is pressing for a better use of knowledge, and for finding means to manage  that knowledge and network it, both for access  and for use. Learning is becoming integral to the role that employees have to play, in order to gain newer knowledge and carry out their duties effectively.

Therefore, for these reasons three major fields were introduced into research  framework. They are the roles of: (a) information  communication technology , (b) knowledge management , and (c) learning organization behaviour . The improvement of public  administration and eGovernance through the application of information and communication technology must consider these factors.

The public  is asking for better performance  on the part of public administration s. ICTs  and digitalization , aided by the open movement of knowledge  and ideas across the Internet , are pushing organizations away from a strictly hierarchically and rigid organizational  ideology and towards a more networked structure. The pressure is on modern public organizations to adjust and to adapt to these new realities. For example, each and every civil servant  and official is now being pressed to take responsibility  for the correctness of data , information  and knowledge, as they are distributed and disseminated through the digital  venues being built up around the globe.

New concepts are emerging to give a definition to this new paradigm for government  behaviourOne is so-called eGovernment. At the core of the eGovernment model, there are two activities. One, and frequently the first step, is iGovernment. iGovernment focuses mainly on the internal digitalization  of documents and processes  and is designed to contribute to the efficiency  and effectiveness  of public  administrations. The second activity, building on the first and generally understood as eGovernment, represents the presentation of Internet -based digital  services by the government administration  and to its non-government clients such as citizens  and businesses . A third level is to link the performance  and behaviour of the public sector  to the goal  of improved democracy . The promotion of democracy through the use of information  and communication technology  is eDemocracy.

In this framework, eGovernance is the application of iGovernment and eGovernment in support of eDemocracy. This recognizes that one could have a high use of ICT  in public administration but not in support of eDemocracy. That important issue is for future work and is not the central focus of this research . The focus of this research is the initial challenges around the introduction of ICT within public administrations. For this, and to expand on previously mentioned influences, a multidimensional  view on this subject was introduced and studied in this research. At the first level, iGovernment and digital  services are examined as the first dimension of the model. Then, knowledge  management  practices  are taken into consideration as a second dimension. Last, a third dimension involves looking at the principles that govern  the behaviour  of a “learning  organization ” within the context of our research focus.

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