Ivar Pae

Title: Building Public Sector Dynamic Capabilities for the Digital Era Governance

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Erkki Karo, Dr. Veiko Lember

Opponent: Siim Sikkut, Deputy Secretary General (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications)

Defense: 5 June 2020


Abstract: Estonia has been regarded among the frontrunners in government digital transformation. The country has been driving government technological solutions in many fields, most notably in the area of electronic identity and data exchange. Based on those most government services in Estonia are provided digitally and also the country has been pioneering in the field of edemocracy. In addition, the solutions lay foundation for the next level concepts in digital government like Government as a Platform and citizen services around life events. However, debates are emerging whether governance and technology management principles that have been successful so far, are sufficient to take the next step. From one side there are suggestions to improve internal regulations in government agencies, be more responsive to regulatory changes, be better in following service development framework and use more agile software development principles. Most of the suggestions are so called ordinary capabilities of an organisation and that can be influenced by traditional management techniques. However, given expectations in society and the level of technological opportunities the debate should move towards how to build dynamic capabilities, such as citizen centricity, entrepreneurial spirit, learning through experimentation and cooperation across government agencies and public service organisations. This change calls also for reconsidering and potentially abandoning coordination mechanisms in the government sector in order to meet proactively, seamlessly and efficiently citizen expectations based on their needs. This thesis discusses dynamic capabilities and coordination methods in the public sector based on theoretical background and empirical research on the example of Estonian public service organisations. It suggests a model for further discussion and includes selected practical application proposals.


Keywords: Dynamic capabilities in public sector, coordination methods, government digital transformation, digital era governance.