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Success and Failure in E-government: Explaining Value Co-creation using Boundary Object Theory
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main objective of this article is to contribute to the understanding of e-government collaboration and value co-creation and co-destruction through information systems (IS) artifacts. This aim is achieved through case study research, investigating collaborations between the Swedish Forest Agency (SFA) and external communities, that aims to co-create value. This collaboration is enabled through an IS environment that has been in use for several years and which comprise two different IS artifacts: one is used in collaboration between the SFA and forest businesses; the other for collaboration between the SFA and private forest owners. 

Sociomaterial boundary object theory is used to analyze the case. Critical realism is used as a philosophical foundation to investigate the interplay between technological and social aspects in the IS-enabled co-creation processes, i.e., the collaborations. The purpose of this article is therefore to analyze the co-creation processes enabled through the IS artifacts (viewed as boundary objects) and consider to what outcomes, in terms of value co-creation and co-destruction, the collaborations afford.

The results show that value is both co-created and co-destructed in the processes. One of the co-creation processes clearly yields economic benefits for the involved communities. In the other process, co-creation and co-destruction outcomes are more difficult to define, despite this, the IS artifact used in this process receives more attention and resources. Main conclusions include: (i) that it becomes challenging to define value co-creation and co-destruction when the boundaries between the collaborating communities become more complex; (ii) more complex boundaries require more complex IS artifacts to collaborate; and (iii) the risk of co-destruction outcomes increases with that same complexity. Thereby, challenges of using IS artifacts to co-create value with heterogeneous communities, such as citizens, is explained. Finally, sociomaterial boundary objects are established as a suitable theoretical lens for studying value co-creation through IS artifacts in the public sector. 

Keyword [en]
value co-creation, value co-destruction, boundary object, critical realism, e-government, IS artifact
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142562OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142562DiVA: diva2:1092449
Available from: 2017-05-02 Created: 2017-05-02 Last updated: 2017-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Designing, Theorizing, and Reflecting on Information Systems Artifacts and Value Co-Creation in e-Government
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing, Theorizing, and Reflecting on Information Systems Artifacts and Value Co-Creation in e-Government
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

E-government services in the form of information systems (IS) artifacts create a new arena for co-creation that governments aim to leverage. Design of and knowledge about IS artifacts in value co-creation in e-government can thereby be considered valuable for the future development of e-government. How IS artifacts are used in value co-creation and co-destruction and how the artifacts are developed is however not well understood.

This thesis addresses the problem of how to design for and understand value co-creation in e-government. To address the problem stated, three research questions are posed. (i) How can IS artifacts be designed to enable value co-creation in e-government and what aspects can inhibit value being co-created through the designed artifacts? (ii) How can boundary object theory facilitate the understanding of IS artifacts used in value co-creation and co-destruction in e-government? (iii) How can retrospectives in design science contribute to research on value co-creation in e-government?

Two artifacts in the form of instantiations are designed and evaluated. Design science research methodology is used in two different projects at Swedish municipalities. Secondary analysis is used to identify aspects that inhibit value being co-created through the designed IS artifacts. From these inhibitors, core aspects for public value co-creation are derived. Thereafter, this thesis delves further into how IS artifacts are used in collaborations between citizens, private businesses, and government agencies in order to co-create value. Two case studies are carried out at Swedish government agencies and sociomaterial boundary object theory is used to enhance understanding. The thesis research process ends with a retrospective evaluation of the performed research, using critical realism as its philosophical foundation and guidance.

The result includes one configurable process model that enables value co-creation by facilitating shared understanding between collaborating parties; one mobile service that enables value co-creation through citizen sourcing; aspects that inhibit the realization of co-created value; and four core aspects that need to be considered when designing artifacts for value co-creation. That IS artifacts can be regarded as boundary objects when you aim to study and understand value co-creation and co-destruction between communities in e-government. Descriptions of how IS artifacts, viewed as sociomaterial boundary objects, are used in value co-creation processes between governments, citizens, and businesses and outcomes in terms of value co-creation and co-destruction. The benefit of performing critical realism-guided retrospectives in design science in order to complement prescriptive knowledge with explanatory and critical knowledge is motivated. It is showed that the design of artifacts generates knowledge through the design efforts, regardless of whether they also yield utility.

This thesis contributes to e-government research and practice with knowledge on how to design artifacts that enable value co-creation. Establishes sociomaterial boundary object theory as a theoretical lens that offers a tool to evaluate and design IS artifacts that enable value co-creation and with knowledge on how IS artifacts are used in value co-creation. The thesis also motivates the usefulness of retrospective evaluation in design science. Suggestions for future research include further developing design science retrospectives. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2017. 218 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 17-005
Keyword
Value Co-creation, Design Science, e-Government, Boundary Object, Critical Realism
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142564 (URN)978-91-7649-834-7 (ISBN)978-91-7649-835-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-14, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 6: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-05-22 Created: 2017-05-03 Last updated: 2017-05-15Bibliographically approved

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