|The influence of Information Society Technologies on Evolution in the Public Administration|
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.