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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Impacts of COVID-19 on organisational change and digitalization in public administration

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.04.00  Social sciences  Administrative and organisational sciences   

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
Keywords
COVID-19; public administration; organisational changes; digitalisation; comparative research; Slovenia; Czech Republic; survey; case studies; structural equation modelling.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18942  PhD Aleksander Aristovnik  Economics  Researcher  2021 - 2023  942 
2.  28239  PhD Tina Jukić  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2021 - 2023  165 
3.  23676  PhD Polonca Kovač  Law  Researcher  2021 - 2023  1,542 
4.  55294  Eva Murko  Economics  Researcher  2022 - 2023  35 
5.  16302  PhD Ljupčo Todorovski  Computer science and informatics  Head  2021 - 2023  445 
6.  53854  Luka Vavtar    Technical associate  2021 - 2023 
7.  02262  PhD Mirko Vintar  Computer science and informatics  Retired researcher  2021 - 2023  420 
8.  53059  PhD Sanja Vrbek  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2021 - 2023  40 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0590  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Public Administration  Ljubljana  1627163  8,799 
2.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  34,538 
Abstract
The project »Impacts of COVID-19 on organisational change and digitalization in public administration« aims to explore the quality and depth of change in central level public organisations provoked by COVID-19. For this purpose, the research will focus on Slovenia and Czechia as two comparable national contexts featuring similar administrative (Central Eastern European) tradition and facing similar trajectory of the development of the COVID-19 crisis (i.e. relatively successful response during the first wave and an outbreak in the second wave). The project departs from the observation that the COVID-19 crisis has contributed to wider and more profound implementation of digital technologies and consequently organisational changes, in comparison to any previous crisis or strategic efforts undertaken by states (e.g. during in the e-government era). Although digitalisation has been a strategic goal of governments for decades, such a fast and wide implementation of ICT as we are witnessing at the moment due to the pandemic was impossible to be even imagined in normal conditions. People who would not otherwise use technology in new ways, rapidly adapted to the new situation, while dominant prejudices that many ‘traditional office’ jobs are impossible to be performed online have been seriously challenged. Thus, the crisis forced many organisations to rethink their processes, way of doing things and use of technology with the purpose of securing their performance during this precarious time. This pressure has been even bigger for public sector organisations as owners of public services deemed crucial for the performance of the basic functions of the state and fulfilment of citizens’ needs. The effects of the pandemic seem likely to leave significant and permanent traces on the organizational design of public sector organisations, with a potential to reshape (for better or worse) administrative settings, quality of internal/external communication and provision of public services. Hence, the goal of the project is to illuminate and explain: the nature and quality of changes that have occurred as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic at the central level (in state administration and public agencies) in Slovenia and Czechia; depth of these changes (limited/reversible vs. deeper/more stable) and thus potential innovative trends within public organisations in the post-pandemic period; lessons learned within and between countries. To achieve this, the project applies the theoretical model explaining organisational transformation in the public sector developed by Nograšek and Vintar in 2014. Moreover, the data in both national contexts will be gathered on the basis of a unified methodology (a survey and case studies), which will provide solid basis for comparative insights leading to more general conclusions about the impact of certain factors and/or similar administrative tradition. Thus, the project will not only contribute to further development of science, i.e. organisational theory and better understanding of organisational transformation under the pressure of exogenous factors (the COVID-19 pandemic), but will also help practitioners better grasp the new reality and strategically respond in the post-crisis period.
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