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Efficiency creep and shadow innovation: enacting ambidextrous IT Governance in the public sector
Swedish Center for Digital Innovation, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway .
Swedish Center for Digital Innovation, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Computer Science. M3S Research Group, University of Oulu, Finland, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7477-0783
2020 (English)In: European Journal of Information Systems, ISSN 0960-085X, E-ISSN 1476-9344Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The current push towards increased innovation within the public sector calls for new approaches to IT Governance. However, recent findings highlight the aim to avoid trade-offs between innovation and efficiency through organisational ambidexterity. This paper reports a case study of ambidextrous IT Governance in two large government agencies. According to the findings, ambidextrous IT Governance is enacted through two separate but interrelated mechanisms that emerge simultaneously. In terms of exploitation, the “efficiency creep” mechanism creates a bias for efficiency – rather than innovation-oriented investments. In terms of exploration, the “shadow innovation” mechanism involves unsanctioned innovation activities. These two mechanisms interplay, in the enactment of ambidextrous IT Governance. The contribution of this study lies in theorising about how ambidextrous IT Governance is enacted in public sector organisations, and how efficiency creep and shadow innovation influence each other. This contribution aids future research and practice on public sector innovation and IT Governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2020.
Keywords [en]
IT Governance, public sector innovation, ambidexterity, public sector, digital government
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-78707DOI: 10.1080/0960085X.2020.1740617ISI: 000526511800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85083508800OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-78707DiVA, id: diva2:1426986
Available from: 2020-04-28 Created: 2020-04-28 Last updated: 2020-05-04

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