Collaboration as a Strategic Service in Government Online Communities

Stephen Smith*, Donald Winchester, Stewart Clegg, Vincent Pang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates strategic innovation changes designed to facilitate 'Collaboration as a Service' that were undertaken on information technology platform sites hosting online communities by NSW state government agencies in Australia. The initial platform hosted the Guardianship Tribunal site dealing with people that have disabilities. The second platform involved working groups (WGs). The third platform hosted knowledge resource centre user group sites. A WG focusing on climate change issues that collaborated within and across agencies, as well as with outside organizations was investigated. A feature of the climate change group is that it requires data and collaboration from many agencies with a future-oriented function and duration of 20+ years. Overall, the WGs perform better following the adoption and implementation of collaborative tools resulting in the benefits of there being a single-point document, reduced duplication of information and effort and a design that complements WG operational activities. Lessons were learned from changes in service delivery for the design of face-to-face services that drove pre-implementation factors and assisted change and collaboration in earlier platforms through enhancing later sites features and functionality limiting user resistance. However, the organizational change contributed to enhanced centralization and panopticism of organizational power relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-257
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Change Management
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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