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Deconstructing complexity: A comparative study of government collaboration in national digital platforms and smart city networks in Europe

Authors: Breaugh, Jessica; Rackwitz, Maike; Hammerschmid, Gerhard; Nõmmik, Steven; Bello, Benedetta; Boon, Jan; Van Doninck, Dries; +2 Authors

Deconstructing complexity: A comparative study of government collaboration in national digital platforms and smart city networks in Europe

Abstract

This research deconstructs complexity as a key challenge of intergovernmental digitalisation projects. While much of the literature acknowledges that the fundamental restructuring coupled with technical capacity that these joint projects require leads to increased complexity, little is known about how different types of complexity interact within the collaborative process. Using established concepts of substantive, strategic, and institutional complexity, we apply complexity theory in collaborative digital environments. To do so, eight digital projects are analysed that differ by state structure and government level. Using a cross-case design with 50 semi-structured expert interviews, we find that each digitalisation project exhibits all types of complexity and that these complexities overlap. However, clear differences emerge between national and local level projects, suggesting that complexity in digitalisation processes presents different challenges for collaborative digitalisation projects across contexts. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This paper is funded under the TROPICO (Transforming into Open, Innovative and Collaborative Governments), www.tropico-project.eu. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 726840.

Country
Belgium
Keywords

Europe, Public Administration, Sociology and Political Science, Economics, public sector, digitalisation, complexity, Collaboration, Collaboration, digitalisation, public sector, complexity, Europe, Law

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This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
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