I will be visiting Queensland University of Technology from October 8-14.
The School of Management seminar series - QUT Business School - October 10, 2017, 10:30 am – 11:30 am, Room Z1124, Level 11, Z block
Technological Innovation and the Public: 3Ps - Purpose, Process, and Products
Technological innovations are fundamentally transforming all aspects of our society. I am particularly concerned with how technological innovations impact 1) the design of our public institutions, 2) the apparatuses through which we shape, implement, and evaluate public policies, and 3) our governance frameworks for public goods. I believe that research needs to be conducted in a manner that advances the greater public good, especially in fields that are of an applied nature. Academia has a special responsibility to generate knowledge that advances society. Studying complex phenomena requires us to undertake research that 1) draws on multiple disciplines, 2) engages a diverse group of stakeholders, 3) appreciates a plurality of research approaches, and 4) generates actionable solutions. Executing inter-disciplinary research is no easy feat to accomplish. Researchers face daunting challenges from the onset; beginning with the inception of ideas, continuing to the crafting of problem statements, executing the research process, and then communicating the results via publications in academic and practitioner outlets. However, these challenges should not be viewed as an excuse to abandon inter-disciplinary research in favor of narrowly focused research exercises. Drawing on over a dozen research projects, this presentation will highlight key strategic management challenges confronting public agencies as they try to keep up with the rapid pace of technological innovations. Opportunities for use-inspired research will be discussed. In addition, I will present a working model for executing inter-disciplinary research that has served me well. I will openly share some of the trials and tribulations that I have encountered along the way.
Alfred Ho (University of Kansas) will be presenting our paper at the 2017 Assoc. Budgeting & Financial Management Conference in Washington, D.C.
Performance Budgeting in U.S. cities: A Multi-Level Analysis
Many past studies have documented different types of performance information usage in the budgetary process. Many also show that various organizational factors influence its usage. In this study, we take a new theoretical approach by analyzing the practice of performance budgeting through a multi-level perspective. Using data from a survey study of U.S. local departments, this study analyzes how service nature, organizational capacity, leadership, organizational culture, and political institutional forces influence how performance analytics is used or not used to impact budgetary decision-making. The empirical results show that there are different dynamics for performance-informed performance budgeting and high-impact performance budgeting. Politics do not necessarily eliminate a need for performance-informed budgeting, but executive commitment to data-driven decision-making is necessary to achieve high impact in using performance budgeting.
My colleagues will be attending the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences to present our research.
Factors Promoting the Collection of Performance Measurement: Evidence from US Local Governments
Performance measurement has gained significant importance around the world. Many governments are adopting performance measurement as a part of reform efforts. Despite the widespread practitioner attention, academic studies are inconclusive about the impact of performance measurement in the public sector. Moreover, while studies have examined what factors influence the adoption of performance measures and its impact, they have paid relatively less attention to the use of different types of performance measures. To fill this gap, this study examines: (1) what types of performance measures are collected by US local governments and; (2) how organizational, technical, and external factors influence the collection of performance measurement. Leveraging survey data, we conduct cluster analysis and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to study factors that impact the collection of performance measures. The findings of QCA highlight that no single condition dominates the collection of performance measurement, rather different combinations of organizational and external factors influence the outcome. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for local policymakers and managers.
The 2016 US Presidential Election on Facebook: An Exploratory Analysis of Sentiments
Social media platforms are valuable tools for political campaigns. In this study, we analyze a dataset representing over 22 thousand Facebook posts by candidates and over 48 million comments to understand the nature of online discourse. Specifically, we study the interaction between political candidates and the public during the 2016 presidential elections in the United States. We outline a novel method to classify commentators into four groups: strong supporters, supporters, dissenters, and strong dissenters. Comments by each group on policy-related topics are analyzed using sentiment analysis. Finally, we discuss avenues for future research to study the dynamics of social media platforms and political campaigns.
Saud Alashri (Arizona State University), Srinivasa Srivatsav Kandala (Arizona State University), Vikash Bajaj (Arizona State University), Emily Parriott (Georgia Tech), Yukika Awazu (IÉSEG School of Management)
Cognitive Computing @ Brookings Institution Tech Tank
- “Learning from Public Sector Experimentation with Artificial Intelligence,” (w/Krishnamurthy, R. and Dawson, G.S.) June 23, 2017.
- “Chatbots Move Public Sector towards Artificial Intelligence,” (w/Krishnamurthy, R.) June 2, 2017.
Performance Analytics Project Report
- “The State of Performance Analytics in Local Government: Analysis of Measures,” (2/ Dawson, G.S., Ho, A. T-K., and Krishnamurthy, R.) Technical Report, Alliance for Innovation, April 2017, 32 pages. (see project page)
- Panel proposal accepted for the 2017 Annual Conference of the Assoc. for Budgeting & Financial Management (w/ Ho, A. T-K., Thurmaier, K., de Jong, M., Joyce, P., and Savage, J.)
The Aspen Institute released a report on Science & Civics: A Guide for Collaborative Action.
Today, it is necessary and urgent to defend the vital role of science in a healthy civic life. This report begins with the premise that there is a gap in both civic literacy and scientific literacy in the United States. The Aspen Institute’s Citizenship and American Identity Program (CAI) believes that these two trends are connected – and that addressing them together is vital to cultivating a citizenry capable of informed self-government. Through the Science & Civics Initiative, CAI aims to help scientists become more powerful citizens and enable citizens to make sense of the world and its complex problems more like scientists. The goal of this report is to outline a path of collaborative action for both civic groups and scientists.
I had the pleasure to contribute ideas to this report. Other contributors to the report include:
Shannon Dosemagen, Executive Director of Public Lab New Orleans
Dr. John Falk, Sea Grant Professor of Free Choice Learning at Oregon State University
Leetha Filderman, President and COO of PopTech
Ira Flatow, Host and Executive Producer of Science Friday
Cary Funk, Associate Director of Research on Science and Society at Pew Research Center
Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Dr. Leandris Liburd, Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Dietram Scheufele, John E. Ross Chair in Science Communication in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
Brooke Smith, Executive Director of Compass
Data sets are growing so large and complex that using them is like drinking from a fire hose. Feeling overwhelmed? Help is on the way.
Big data isn’t the problem; it’s the solution — and this PAS Report shows how to use it. Arizona State University researchers Kevin C. Desouza and Kendra L. Smith have teamed up on a practical guide to channeling the power of big data. Together they look at how planners around the world are turning big data into real answers for smart cities.
Learn how Dublin is gearing up geospatial data to steer traffic. See how Singapore is collecting citizens’ selfies to track smog. Discover how Detroit is crowdsourcing creative ideas for its 50-year plan. And find out how the U.S. government is planning to use Yelp to improve its services.
What’s the big idea for your community? Read Big Data and Planning for a look at trends and tools you can tap into today.
An article I co-authored with Gregory S. Dawson (Arizona State University), James S. Denford (Royal Military College of Canada), Clay K. Williams (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), and David Preston (Texas Christian University) has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Management Information Systems.
An Examination of Effective IT Governance in the Public Sector Using the Legal View of Agency Theory
In the private sector, research on IT governance has frequently applied the classical view of agency theory and focused on the controlling role played by the board of directors in constraining potentially opportunistic manager/agent. However, in the public sector, the board of directors does not exist and there may be less need to focus on the controlling aspect of governance and more need to focus on the politically challenging distribution of state resources. In this U.S. state-based study, we adopt, apply and extend the legal view of agency theory past its sole focus on the board of directors as the solitary mediating hierarch in order to examine the strategic mediating hierarch role played by the state legislature and then conceptualize and test for the existence of a tactical mediating hierarch played by the IT steering committee and the production role of an independent office of the chief information officer (OCIO) in using a fee-for-service funding model. We apply these concepts to extend theory to examine the combination of roles that lead to superior outcomes for the state (the principal) versus those necessary for the IT department (the agent). Our results show that by shifting from the control-oriented view of governance in the private sector to a more mediating view in the public sector, important practices may be portable between the public and private sector, despite their widely differing structures.
Predictive Analytics: Nudging, Shoving, and Smacking Behaviors in Higher Education
With predictive analytics, colleges and universities are able to “nudge” individuals toward making better decisions and exercising rational behavior to enhance their probabilities of success.
Frugal Technology and Innovation to Design Smarter Cities
In this paper, I will explore opportunities for frugal technology and innovation to design smarter cities. I will draw on several case studies of smart city development efforts in North America and Asia. The focus of my remarks will center on why we need to rethink the current state of technology deployment in urban centers, especially when we consider developing countries and fragile cities. A focus on frugal innovation will enable us to meet several objectives: 1) reduce the percentage of failed large-scale technology projects, 2) increase civic engagement through digital technologies, and 3) design data and build platforms that are agile and nimble.