Surmounting Boundaries: Closing The Governance Gap Governance Arrangements In Public Sector Ict Shared Services
Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money have been spent creating Public Sector ICT Shared Services (PSISS) based on expectations of improved customer service and cost reduction. Unfortunately, the promised benefits have often failed to materialise and governance has been identified as a barrier to PSISS success. The research first locates the concerns that governance, and in particular arrangements for governing PSISS, is contributing to PSISS failure in the academic and practice literatures on PSISS governance. Our current knowledge of PSISS governance is principally informed by literature from three domains: management, public administration and information systems. These domains, to an extent, exist in silos with unique traditions, perspectives and knowledge claims. As a result, how it informs the governance of PSISS could be at best unhelpful and even confusing to practitioners. This state of knowledge is not assisted by “how to govern” guides that obscure their different theoretical origins and do not appear to address the complexity of PSISS governance. Despite this apparent lack of coherent frameworks in the academic and practice literatures, practitioners are expected to use this literature to develop governance arrangements and perform effective PSISS governance. This lack of coherence led me to ask my first research question: How do practitioners perceive PSISS governance in practice? Exploring how PSISS governance occurs in practice through the lived experience of PSISS governance practitioners led me to select grounded theory as an appropriate methodology and research design to examine 20 years of governance practice for an electronic identity (E-ID) PSISS in New Zealand. My grounded theory of practice enabled construction of a public sector governance model to explore vertical and collaborative governance arrangements through three perspectives: system strategy, delivery and assurance. The model has been extended to provide a system-wide public sector governance lens, which was used to reflexively explore current academic literature and seven practitioner informed critical public sector governance issues to answer my refined secondary research question: How have governance arrangements addressed critical issues in public sector governance?