University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Modelling Cultural Change by Implementing Technology for Multi-Agency Information Sharing

Dobson, Kate, Chinnaswamy, A., Garcia-Perez, A. and Iskoujina, Z. (2018) Modelling Cultural Change by Implementing Technology for Multi-Agency Information Sharing. In: Tension in the Data Environment: Can Organisations Meet the Challenge? Data, Organisations and Society Conference 2018, 21st November 2018, Coventry University Technology Park. (Unpublished)

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Inter-organisational information sharing systems are widely accepted as the norm in private sector
organisations, from small scale customer relationship management systems to highly complex,
intelligent, information sharing systems. Local government trails behind in the adoption of such
systems, Desmond and Koteche (2017) confirming that “the state, unlike private enterprise, is
struggling to innovate”. Nevertheless, local government is increasingly required to deliver more
with tightening budgets, so a push to find technological solutions to deliver a leaner but optimal
service is vital. Sivarajah and Irani (2018) go so far as to suggest that councils could become
leaders in how emerging technologies can be utilised for the benefit of the public, highlighting
examples including London Borough of Enfield Council’s chatbot, Amelia, dedicated to dealing with
resident queries or authenticating licences and a drone supplied by Kent Fire and Rescue used to
survey the ruins of Grenfell Tower.
The introduction of new technologies is a critical move in any organisation, regardless of its size
and reach. New technologies enable an organisation to not only exploit its established capabilities
but also explore new businesses opportunities, both of which lead to innovation in its management
processes, its products and services (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004; Guisado-González et al., 2017).
Such innovation often takes the form of new frameworks redefining the existing human relations at
the workplace.
Data is becoming more important in the way county councils deliver services to their residents.
Services are provided by multiple agencies across the county council, however, to deliver an
optimal, efficient and cost-effective service, it is required that the data is shared across
agencies, but Cowell and Martin (2003) state that traditionally county council agencies operate as
silos. To utilise data effectively, county councils are looking to provide the foundation for more
integrated, user centric support across local providers by implementing a multi-agency information
sharing technological solution (WODA, 2017). The county council understand the importance of a
successful project to empower workers with the knowledge and understanding to engage with emerging
data sharing opportunities with confidence. However, frontline workers have traditionally not been
receptive to technological change and information sharing. Without the engagement of the system
users, the frontline workers, the project to implement an information sharing technology solution
will fail. A need therefore arises to investigate the attitudes, and the impact on relationships
and culture, across the multi-agency local government when implementing an information technology
Hence, the aim of this research is to develop a framework that models the cultural change within a
complex organisation when implementing an information sharing technology solution.
To achieve its aim, the study proposes a longitudinal study that seeks to understand the cultural
change that takes place within the organisation as the technology intervention project is
implemented. The project will be well-measured to include different settings and possibilities for
better observations. Qualitative and quantitative methods including observation, interviews and
surveys will allow for the study of those changes as part of an action-research methodological
approach involving a sample of up to 3,000 individuals directly involved in the processes being

The motivation for completing this research comes firstly from Kate Dobson’s membership of the
Worcester Office of Data Analytics (WODA) committee, the force behind the project to produce and
implement a single view information sharing system for Worcestershire County Council. The project
and committee are still in their infancy, however, support and enthusiasm for the project is
demonstrated by leading agencies within the organisation, including the police, fire services,
children’s services, acute hospital trusts and others. This research addresses an aspect of the
project not yet addressed by the committee, though highlighted as a requirement for the success of
the project and furthermore adds significant impact and value to the project.
Secondly, the research and the success of the WODA project is driven by Kate Dobson’s first-hand
experience of the difficulties agencies have when multiple agencies have contact with a resident
and they have no access to shared data. The research seeks to suggest a lasting solution that can
ensure a better framework as far as the admission of new technologies in multi-agency working is
Expected Outcomes:
The anticipated result of the study will be to map the cultural change within the multi-agency
organisation as the program of change progresses. The study will be expected to produce a framework
for modelling cultural change when implementing technology to create a single view information
sharing system for a multi-agency organisation. The research will be expected to fill the gap that
exists in the research around organisational change management occurring due to interventions with
technology in multi-agency organisations. In Worcestershire County Council, agencies will use the
data system as a single view information sharing source of the residents of Worcestershire,
ensuring efficiencies, no data duplication and an aid to provide the residents of Worcestershire
with better local government services. This research will offer other Councils an insight of how
the application of the system can be used to provide efficient and cost saving services. This
research will also provide a justification that a framework for modelling cultural change
is important in the course of
implementing new technology in a multi-agency organisation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:

Paper presented at "Tension in the Data Environment: Can Organisations Meet the Challenge?" Data, Organisations and Society Conference 2018.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: inter-organizational information sharing, new technologies, data sharing, cultural change, multi-agency information sharing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Kate Dobson
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2018 15:25
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:25

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