University of Oulu

Hietala, Heidi; Rossi, Pekka M.; Annanperä, Elina; and Päivärinta, Tero, "Modes of Collaboration in Digital Transformation of Municipal Wastewater Management" (2021). ECIS 2021 Research Papers. 91

Modes of Collaboration in Digital Transformation of Municipal Wastewater Management

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Author: Hietala, Heidi1; Rossi, Pekka M.1; Annanperä, Elina1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Luleå University of Technology, Luleå
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Association for Information Systems (AIS), 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-03


Digital transformation introduces new opportunities for public services, such as wastewater management. The opportunities include better interoperability and data availability, leading to such benefits as predictive maintenance and efficient allocation of resources. To reach the envisioned benefits, inter-organisational collaboration is essential. However, municipal water utilities have varying objectives, expectations, and challenges related to collaboration. This paper reports a field study on the digitalisation opportunities of municipal water services in Finland. We report the observed collaboration forms, rationale, expected benefits, and recognised challenges (i.e., the modes of inter-organizational collaboration) for deploying digitalised operations. This study provides insight into inter-organisational collaboration on the digital transformation of municipal water management. On a theoretical level, the study supports and complements the previously theorised collaboration modes of autonomous development, standardisation, and central service organization. The results also describe why and how limited company mode emerges in the sector, corresponding to the previously described consortium mode.

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Article number: 1470
Host publication: Proceedings of the 29th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Virtual, June 14-16, 2021
Conference: European Conference on Information Systems
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: The data of this research was collected from the WWData project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Copyright information: © Association for Information Systems (AIS) 2021. Published here with the kind permission by the publisher.