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The use of an information system as a legitimate subversive agent

The use of an information system as a legitimate subversive agent The introduction of France's Constitutional Bylaw on Budget Acts (LOLF) in 2006 and its concept of performance-based management implies a profound reengineering of the relationship between the central government and the autonomous agencies in charge of implementing policy. In this paper, we examine the case of French scientific research policy, which is carried out via a network of 160 universities and 40 specialized scientific agencies, all of them enjoy statutory autonomy. Information systems are key in ensuring that processes in the field are in line with central public policy objectives. A new approach to this network is required, one that we call "urbanization", i.e. rethinking the system's overall architecture as a city map, rather than the "spaghetti" networks inherited from the past. Managing such a project raises strategic questions about centre-periphery relationships, and requires a partial solution to the dichotomy between local strategic autonomy and the central impetus the state must give in order to enforce its political objectives. In terms of centre-periphery theory and a strategic planning approach to IT, we explain why information systems are a critical issue in centre-periphery relationships. We then analyze how IS reengineering may foster strategic dialogue between the central administration and autonomous agencies. Finally, we use as an example the difficulties we encountered in designing the new capabilities, and we conclude on the emerging paradigm shift in public administration concepts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

The use of an information system as a legitimate subversive agent

Information Polity , Volume 14 (3) – Jan 1, 2009

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by IOS Press, Inc
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
DOI
10.3233/IP-2009-0156
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The introduction of France's Constitutional Bylaw on Budget Acts (LOLF) in 2006 and its concept of performance-based management implies a profound reengineering of the relationship between the central government and the autonomous agencies in charge of implementing policy. In this paper, we examine the case of French scientific research policy, which is carried out via a network of 160 universities and 40 specialized scientific agencies, all of them enjoy statutory autonomy. Information systems are key in ensuring that processes in the field are in line with central public policy objectives. A new approach to this network is required, one that we call "urbanization", i.e. rethinking the system's overall architecture as a city map, rather than the "spaghetti" networks inherited from the past. Managing such a project raises strategic questions about centre-periphery relationships, and requires a partial solution to the dichotomy between local strategic autonomy and the central impetus the state must give in order to enforce its political objectives. In terms of centre-periphery theory and a strategic planning approach to IT, we explain why information systems are a critical issue in centre-periphery relationships. We then analyze how IS reengineering may foster strategic dialogue between the central administration and autonomous agencies. Finally, we use as an example the difficulties we encountered in designing the new capabilities, and we conclude on the emerging paradigm shift in public administration concepts.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2009

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