PhD defense by Lars Kristian Hansen: IT Project Portfolio Management: Vertical and Horizontal Work Design Problems in a Public Organization

  • Lars Kristian Hansen (Foredragsholder)

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragForedrag og præsentationer i privat eller offentlig virksomhed


IT Project Portfolio Management: Vertical and Horizontal Work Design Problems in a Public Organization

Abstract: In the public sector, as demands for digitization increases the number of IT projects, there is a greater risk of IT project failures and a need to mitigate failures. In this regard, IT project portfolio management (IT PPM) is regarded as key and salient. However, despite IT PPM has received much attention, Information Systems (IS) research has only focused sporadically on IT PPM, especially with regard to IT PPM in a public sector context. Against this backdrop, this PhD dissertation adopts an Engaged Scholarship approach to investigate IT PPM practices within a large Danish public organization. The investigation applies Work Design Theory to analyze rich data, covering multiple levels of analysis and several units with quite diverse functions, to address the following three research questions: (1) How does a public organization conduct IT PPM? (2) Which work design problems can be identified in these practices? (3) How can the problems be addressed through modified approaches to IT PPM? The dissertation describes the organization’s IT PPM efforts by drawing on the theory’s distinction between vertical and horizontal divisions of work, consequently identifying problem within three related problem areas: Hierarchical Decomposition Problems, Modularity Problems, and Complex Network Problems. The problems are summarized in a network of fourteen related IT PPM problems with six root problems: (1) weak accountability processes between the political and the administrative organization, (2) weak accountability processes between the director level and the IT executives, (3) lack of appropriate change management strategy, (4) no systematic approach to manage IT project information across units and subunits, (5) IT PPM is distributed across different portfolios and units with no overall authority, and (6) political and managerial silos constitute barriers for IT PPM. By applying a public-private distinction, public management characteristics are found to be significant in the observed IT PPM problems with emphasis on two particular public management characteristics: (1) governance is based on political forces instead of market forces, and (2) the obligation to deliver public goods. Drawing on normative advice from Work Design Theory and considering public management characteristics, the PhD dissertation provides recommendations for addressing the six root problems. The research contributes to the IS literature by providing two main contributions, first, by providing detailed empirical knowledge about IT PPM practices in the public sector, and second by showing how Work Design Theory can help diagnose and improve these practices. These results may be used to inform further research on IT PPM and to help managers improve IT PPM practices in similar organizations 
Periode12 jun. 2013
BegivenhedstitelPhD defense by Lars Kristian Hansen Department of Political Science
PlaceringAalborg, DanmarkVis på kort