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Title: Managing inter-organisational collaboration in information systems in the UK public sector
Author: Zaghloul, Fatema Sameh Said
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 0200
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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Over the past three decades, inter-organisational collaboration among public and private sector organisations has dramatically increased to the point where collaborative arrangements have become one of the hallmarks of the new millennium. Academics and practitioners treat collaborations as imperative to goal achievement and fundamental in the context of emergency services. Nonetheless, although the increasing popularity of such arrangements has generated interest, unanswered questions remain regarding how different collaborative arrangements are formed and managed, including those elements that sustain or influence them and tensions experienced in the collaboration process. More specifically, the literature review highlights a lack of empirical research on the collaboration process with respect to aligning information systems and technologies between multiple organisations in the public sector. As such, it is important to understand how multiple organisations collaborate during the development of collaborative information infrastructures and the elements that influence the process. To address these research questions, this thesis investigates two case studies in the UK, each pursuing a different collaborative arrangement model, taking an interpretative approach involving the use of semi-structured interviews, documents, and site visits. An activity theory perspective was used in order to frame an understanding of how these collaborative arrangements were managed, identify the elements that influence the collaboration process activity system, and summarise the components of this process. In exploring the collaboration process activity system, the research uncovered a number of tensions and contradictions when attempting to align technologies, information systems, and working practices. It became apparent that all tensions were the subsequent result of one major primary contradiction: poly-motivation. The research highlights that participants may appear to share similar understandings of the object by demonstrating similar behaviours on the surface, but on a deeper level, the object is meaningful in different ways. This is significant as the literature on activity theory and, in general the collaboration literature, motivation appears to be under-explored and analysed at a low level of sophistication. Furthermore, understanding and tracing poly-motivation also enables the identification and influence of power in such settings. The thesis posits a model to represent the collaboration process activity system and the elements that influence this, seeking to make contributions to the field of information systems and information management with respect to inter-organisational collaborations.
Supervisor: Norman, Alistair ; Allen, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available