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Faculty Research Working Paper Series
David Lazer
Associate Professor of Public Policy
A New Order of Things: Managing Novelty and Cooperation on E-Government Projects
Binz-Scharf, Maria, David Lazer. "A New Order of Things: Managing Novelty and Cooperation on E-Government Projects." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP08-048, October 2008.
Abstract
In this paper, we explore the challenges of managing e-government projects. In particular, we highlight two extraordinary managerial challenges that e-government poses: novelty and cross-agency cooperation. E-government is novel because it offers some fundamentally new possibilities for how government does business. The management of e-government is, in significant part, the management of ideas, creativity, and knowledge. E-government requires cross-agency cooperation because of functional needs for scale, consistency, and integration. We examine how four governments that have adopted a project-based approach to the introduction of e-government have coped with the challenges of novelty and cross-agency collaboration. Our findings indicate that e-government projects experience different activities and coordination mechanisms according to the stage of completion of the project and the complexity of the task at hand. We discuss the implications of our findings for the management of e-government projects.
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