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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 27, Issue 3, April 2009, Pages 234–242
In this paper we investigate to what extent ICT based service innovation can be successfully facilitated by traditional project management thinking. Should service innovation initiatives be organized the same way as high-tech product innovation, i.e. with expert teams in well structured projects? Or should they be organized in some looser fashion, with more interaction with users and other stakeholders? Our empirical evidence is a survey of 130 public sector projects in Norway, run within a national e-government program. We find that ICT based service innovation is not associated with a tightly run project (focused on cost, time and quality) or a professional project manager. Rather, successful service innovation is found in projects with a strong integration with the service providing organization and the external users of the services. We discuss three alternative models as an agenda for further research.
Services constitute today the dominant part of Western economies, and the innovation of new services is recognized as an important strategy in the global competition . A particularly interesting strategy is ICT (information and communication technologies) based service innovation, which − combined with the general liberalization of services in the 1990s – has transformed several industries, such as financial services, telecom and IT, and media. Other sectors are following, for example the music industry and e-government. In a recent report for the European Union, a group led by the former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho called for a new approach to innovation in Europe . First, the report argues that the large European public sector should create a market for innovations. Second, it argues that Europe has focused too little on service innovation, where the greatest potential for future growth lies. Bearing this in mind, it may come as no surprise that most research on innovation still is in the high-tech products field . There are several reasons for this − the most important probably being institutional – but the consequence is that too little is known about ICT based service innovation. One of the most important questions concerns the organizing of service innovations processes; should service innovation initiatives be organized the same way as high-tech research, i.e. with expert teams in distinct and well structured projects? Or should they be organized in some looser fashion, with more interaction with users and other stakeholders? The research communities – both the service innovation and the project management research − are divided on this question. A key issue is the classic trade-off between integration and differentiation known from sociological and project management research, i.e. to what degree should the project be isolated from its mother organization? This is a crucial question, which we believe is not sufficiently answered in the current research literature. Thus, there is a need for more empirical research to understand and manage ICT based service innovations. Addressing this issue, our research question is: Can ICT based service innovation be facilitated by traditional project management thinking? In the next section we review some important contributions from the project management and service innovations communities. Then, in Section 3 we outline our research approach, and present the results of our survey in Section 4. We discuss our findings in Section 5 before we conclude and point to further research in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper we asked: Can ICT based service innovation be facilitated by traditional project management thinking? The background for the question is that successful ICT based service innovation is more dependent on the acceptance of the redefined roles rather than the actual provision of the service. Based on a survey of public sector broadband projects in Norway our conclusions are: Successful ICT based service innovation is not associated with a tightly run project (focused on cost, time and quality) or a professional project manager. Rather, successful service innovation is found in projects with a strong integration with the service providing organization and the external users of the services. Planning for organizational success presupposes that the project manager is able to build alliances with key stakeholders in order to ensure that the service is successfully adopted. Thus, ICT based service innovation should not be sequenced in first a tightly run technical project followed by an organizational implementation, because this will be a barrier to innovation. Our findings imply that the public sector should experiment with alternative project models to achieve ICT based service innovation. We have discussed three such models, called Integrated Classic Structure, Mutual Adaptation and TQM, and discussed their potential strengths and weaknesses in service innovation, as an agenda for further empirical research.