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Digitized Interaction in Public Organizations (REPLACE)


Digital technologies have become completely integrated in our work life. “Everyday technologies” like video, cell phones, e-mail, intranet and digital casework systems are both indispensable and inevitable. Especially when employees and leaders are physically separated, e.g., in homecare, in healthcare, in mobile kindergartens, during implementation of cluster and area management, or when sections of government agencies are relocated to different parts of the country.

The new technologies often give rise to a notion that physical distance no longer matters because we can reach each other across time and space at all times. However, we know very little about the effects of digital technologies – in particular on leadership and knowledge sharing in public organisations.

Objective and research method

The project examines how use of modern everyday technology like cell phones, video conferencing equipment and electronic casework systems affects knowledge sharing and leadership in public organisations, including how different types of technology interact with face-to-face communication.

The project will produce new insights to leaders and employees about how their use of everyday technology can affect their knowledge sharing and leadership and will thereby contribute to optimising the use of everyday technology in the public sector – especially in organisations where physical distance is a basic premise.

The project will be conducted as a comparative qualitative case study in six public organisations from three public sectors: eldercare, daycare and the state. We investigate organisations that consist of one physical unit and organisations that are physically scattered. The objective is to identify patterns across different organisational contexts – with different tasks, different employees and different levels of maturity in terms of technology.

Data consist of observations, focus group interviews, the organisations’ own data (e.g. workplace assessments) as well as leaders’ and employees’ “digital footprints” (e.g. extent of e- mail and text communication).

Additional information about the project

The research group consists of Associate Professor Caroline Grøn, who is project manager, Assistant Professor Anne Mette Møller and PhD student Mathilde Albertsen Winsløw.