The Digital State in Practice
AbstractThe course zooms in on the ongoing digital transformation of the Danish public sector and provides analytical and methodological tools for understanding and working with digitalization processes across governmental institutions and the private organisations that underpin their transformation.
Public sectors are currently undergoing large-scale institutional changes, not least in Denmark, a world-leading IT nation. Digital technologies are transforming both internal work and management practices and the relation between welfare professionals and citizens. Understanding these processes of transformation and what they entail is crucial for working both in public sector with digitalization and e.g. as consultant in the private sector.
This course provides theoretical tools and empirical insights into how public sector transformations take place and unfold in practice, with a focus on the Danish public sector. The course goes into depths with the 'how' of public sector digitalization: How are digitalization processes changing the landscapes and ecosystems of the public sector today, and which types of hopes, dreams and challenges are involved in these processes?
The course consists of three main elements:
- Thematic focus: How are digitalisation processes changing and challenging the welfare state? How are local governmental institutions, welfare encounters, work, professions, and management practices changed by digitalization?
- Concepts and method: How do we study and make sense of the changing organisational practices of the Danish welfare state?
- Project work: Grouped in research teams, you will conduct ethnographic research projects in local governmental settings going through processes of digitalization.
The course prepares and equips you to work at the forefront of public sector transformations. As part of the course, you will carry out your own group research project in a Danish governmental setting. Doing so, you will study the implementation and/or changes caused by digitalization, linking your empirical work to core theoretical concepts in the course.
This project work will, furthermore, provide you with inspiration, method and theory reflections, empirical insights and analytical skills relevant for your master thesis as well as future employment.
This course constitutes the second part of the specialisation in Public Digitalisation. ITU students may apply to include the course in an individual
Single subject and guest students may register for this course without participating in the first part of the specialisation.
The course presupposes a basic knowledge of sociological theories of society
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- - Describe, analyse and engage with the challenges of digitalization of the Danish public sector – in research and in organisational practice.
- - Plan and conduct their own exploratory inquiry into an empirical case related to public sector digitalisation through an iterative process of problem formulation, data collection and analysis.
- - Apply selected methods and conceptual tools to analyse their own empirical data and cases.
- - Critically reflect on and discuss the decisions made in the research process and the relationship between the chosen methods, theories and data, and their implications for the findings.
Ordinary examExam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, External (7-point scale)
D2G: Submission for groups with following oral exam supplemented by the submission. Shared responsibility for the report.