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Public administration in the knowledge society

by Ani Matei (Author) Carmen Savulescu (Author)

Scientific Essay 2014 134 Pages

Sociology - Knowledge and Information

Excerpt

Table of contents

Introduction

Chapter 1
Knowledge society – reflecting the theoretical elements in the empirical research
1.1. Conceptual development of knowledge society
1.2. Analysis of the main initiatives, strategies, plans, programmes in United States of America, Japan and the European Union
1.2.1. United States of America
1.2.2. Japan
1.2.3. European Union
1.3.Pillars of knowledge society
1.3.1. Education
1.3.2. Research – development
1.3. 3. Innovation
1.4. Study on Romania’s rank concerning knowledge society development in the European Union
1.5. Strategies and programmes on knowledge society in Romania
1.6. Successful factors

Conclusions

Chapter 2
Knowledge management in public administration
2.1. Background
2.2. The relationship between knowledge management, information technology, human resources and organisational learning
2.2.1. Knowledge management and information technology
2.2.2. Knowledge management and human resources
2.2.3. Knowledge management and organisational learning
2.2.4. Knowledge management in holistic perspective
2.3. Knowledge management in public administration
2.4. Towards a possible knowledge management model in public administration

Conclusions

Chapter 3
From traditional administration to digital administration

Chapter 4
e-Governance
4.1. Conceptualization
4.2. Determining the functions of e-Governance
4.3. e-services
4.3.1. Principles of the European public services
4.3.2. e-service evaluation
4.3.2.1. Analysis on the status of the 20 public services in Romania
4.3.2.2. Empirical analysis of e-services in the EU Member States during 2007 – 2010, based on the e-Governance indicators of the European Commission
4.3.2.3. Empirical analysis of e-government services in the EU Member States during 2003 – 2010, based on the UN e-Government indicators
4.4. Trends
4.5. Analysis of citizens’ perception on e-Governance

Conclusions

Chapter 5
Information and communication technology – fundamental component of knowledge society
5.1. Context
5.2. Dynamics of ICT development at international level
5.3. Empirical comparative analysis of ICT development in the EU Member States
5.3.1. Analysis of ICT sector development
5.3.2. Analysis of the correlation between the evolution of ICT sector size, contribution of ICT sector to GDP and the economic growth
5.3.3.Comparative empirical analysis of share of ICT sector in national economy, networked readiness and competitiveness in the EU Member States
5.4. Analysis of ICT sector development in Romania
5.4.1 Analysis of ICT sector development in Romania during 2005 - 2011
5.4.2. Structural Funds
5.4.3. SWOT analysis of the ICT sector in Romania
5.4.4. STEEP analysis of ICT sector in Romania
5.4.5. Perspectives for ICT sector development in Romania

Chapter 6
Study concerning the analysis of the perception of public institutions in Romania on e-Governance, ICT and knowledge management
6.1. Conceptual model of the relationship between e-Governance, ICT and knowledge management
6.2. Survey concerning the evaluation of the perception of Municipality city halls towards e-Governance, ICT and knowledge management
6.3. Survey concerning the evaluation of the perception of Prefect institutions towards e-Governance, ICT and knowledge management
6.4. Analysis of convergence
6.5. Conclusions of the surveys

Final conclusions

References

Introduction

“Ce qui nous arrête, c’est la peur du changement.

Et pourtant, c’est du changement que dépend notre salut.”

Jean Monnet, 12 May 1954

The fact that we are living in the knowledge society is broadly accepted at the beginning of the new century. It is well known that the pace of increasing the knowledge sphere has never been so fast in the history of mankind and science has never been so daring and productive.

In this context, the public administration is facing significant challenges with impact on its legitimacy, effectiveness and efficiency. For the time being, the most visible challenge consists in the economic and financial crisis in Europe, exerting pressures on the public administrations in view to rethink the ways for improving the public value, the public service provision and accomplishment of the administrative activities. Taking into consideration the important role of public administration in knowledge society and knowledge economy, the public administration capacity to respond to that challenge influences powerfully its viability.

What governance does the citizens, institutions, organisations, companies need in this millennium? This question is fundamental.

And not only because we are in 2014. Virtually we experiment new things at job, at home, in society. This profound transformation may be called digital revolution. Although many people wish a pace of change rather incremental than supersonic, for the time being the reality is completely different.

The new technologies have produced a revolution in our society and the networks have begun to shape the way we are living, working, communicating. The same technological changes transforming the private sector, represent a revolution for the public administration and the dimensions of the public space.

In the digital era, it is imperative to rethink the structure and operation of the public administration, which will trigger a radical transformation of the relationships: administration – citizens, administration-businesses.

The digital revolution is shaping two interconnected relationships between citizens and public administration: the relationship between administration and citizens as customers or users of the public services, and the second between administration and citizens as active partners who are influencing and customising the public services.

Castells’ assertion (1996) is confirmed, emphasising the fact that the digital revolution „refers especially to applying information and knowledge for knowledge generating and information processing in a continuous cycle. Those features are combining with creative users, who are holding the control on technology”[1].

The public administration is facing important challenges also in the field of e-Governance:

- Using the new technological channels and ways for service provision through mobile cellular telephones, interactive digital television etc.;
- Ubiquitous administration, which will eliminate the spatial and temporal barriers in the relationship between public administration and citizens;
- The administrations will be permanently at the citizens’ service, all by a „touch” or a „click”;
- The human resource development, creation of a generation of civil servants and public employees with a powerful ethical and social commitment, who believe in information technology as a vital instrument for flexible, efficient, fast, transparent, integrated public services.

Science and technology are developing continuously and the change represents a constant variable. It depends on us how we perceive the change and how we adapt in the digital universe. The outcomes of the researches, studies, analyses should be valorised for public administration modernization, efficient public service provision in view to meet the needs, wishes, expectations of citizens, public and private sector, civil society.

Fountain (2001) emphasises in his book “Building the Virtual State”: “dot.coming of government is only just beginning … Yet inside the machinery of the state, amid a web of institutional structures that offer incentives for innovation and efficiency gains, the action of this lever is complex, indirect and mediated significantly by institutional and organisational arrangements”[2].

Other author, Bardach (2001) concludes on the same topic: “traffic in the cyberspace still has to slow down and wait for institutions and human beings to do their thing”[3].

Similarly, in his book “Digital Government”, West asserts: “revolutions do not have to be quick and abrupt for there to be widespread change. It may take a while for technological innovations to diffuse throughout a country... While we have uncovered little evidence of transformational change in the e-Governance area, there is the possibility of more extensive change emanating from the Internet in the longer term”[4].

The increased use of information and communication technology (ICT) in various activities has led to multidimensional changes, often unpredictable ones. We witness permanently the change of the interactions between citizens, businesses based on the new communication methods. The digital revolution has created a world with interactive opportunities of communication and it had increased the speed of transferring data, information and knowledge.

It is estimated that the digital universe will record an increase by 400 times, doubling at each two years till 2020[5]. Information requires smart and reliable infrastructures. The following question arises: are the infrastructures prepared for the existing volume of information?

Other relevant question: are the digital competences able to manage the volume of information and to create new knowledge?

The theme of the research „The public administration in knowledge society” represents one of the actual themes on international, European and national level in the context of public administration modernization.

General objective of research

Emphasising specific interactions between public administration and society in the context of knowledge management development and transformation of the digital technologies into resources of social development.

Specific objectives of research

- Operationalising the concepts concerning knowledge society and knowledge management;
- Identifying the successful factors for knowledge society and knowledge management;
- Substantiating the relationship between knowledge management, information technology, human resources and learning in public organisations;
- Identifying a possible knowledge management model in public administration;
- Emphasising the features and dimensions of public administration by analysing the classical and modern models;
- Exploring the main trends and directions for public administration in the era of knowledge, based on the outcomes of the doctoral research;
- Determining the e-Governance status and dynamics at European and national level by comparative analyses;
- Determining the status and dynamics of ICT development on international, European and national level;
- Identifying new challenges and perspectives for public administration in the era of knowledge;
- Analysis of the citizens’ perception on key aspects of e-Governance;
- Analysis of public institutions’ perception on e-Governance, ICT and knowledge management.

Research hypotheses

The research objectives are substantiated on a series of research hypotheses supporting the need for an interdisciplinary approach of the research theme.

Hypothesis 1 The evolution towards a knowledge society determines transformations of all social subsystems, including public administration. Concomitantly, the public administration by incorporating knowledge resources, i.e. ICT, becomes a support and catalyser of knowledge transformation into a resource of social development.

Hypothesis 2 The development of knowledge management in public administration is based on the fundamental change of thinking about the ways for valorising the human resources, the information resources, on an adequate organisational culture supporting learning and creative use of the available resources, with impact on improving performance and efficiency of the administrative activities.

Hypothesis 3 e-Governance development represents a fundamental component of public administration modernization.

Hypothesis 4 The focus on the efficient use of ICT, the ICT infrastructure development, the improvement of civil servants and public employees’ digital competences trigger the change in public administration, aimed at service quality improvement, transparency improvement, increase of users’ trust in the services provided in view to meet the citizens’ and businesses’ needs, requirements, expectations.

Research architecture

In view to achieve the research objectives, the publication is substantiated on an original architecture, with a logical structure of contents, comprising introduction, six chapters, conclusions, references.

The hypotheses are formulated in view to meet the research topics approached in each chapter. The research holds a theoretical dimension and an applicative dimension.

The applicative value of this publication is provided by the analytical overview on the actual status of knowledge society development and the decisive role of public administration in its consolidation, as well as by the complex overview on the dynamics of e-Governance and ICT development, with outstanding impact on public administration in view to improve the public value and to meet the citizens’ needs, requirements, expectations, preferences. Valorising and integrating empirical topics within the complex contents, in an interdisciplinary approach, the value added of the publication is supported by studies, analyses, correlations, interpretations and personal contributions.

Methodology

Study and analysis of fundamental scientific publications concerning knowledge society, knowledge management, public administration models, e-Governance, information and communication technology. Analysis of field research reports and publications of international organisations, specialised institutions, analyses of strategies, programmes, relevant at international, European, national level. Using the research instruments and methods: SPSS, questionnaires, SWOT analysis, STEEP analysis, statistical analyses, comparative analyses, deduction, induction, interpolation, correlation, interpretation, synthesis, argumentation, method of quantitative and qualitative correlation factors.

Chapter 1

Knowledge society – reflecting the theoretical elements in the empirical research

The concept on knowledge society has emerged due to understanding the importance of knowledge for the development of nations and the fast progress of technology, especially information and communication technology.

Chapter 1 emphasises the main dimensions of the knowledge society concept, presenting in chronological order the development of this concept in the field literature at international and national level. This concept has been debated and analysed by researchers and specialists, as well as by prestigious international organisations. The main initiatives, strategies, plans, programmes in United States of America, Japan and the European Union are presented in chronological order. The second part of the chapter is focused on operationalising the concept of knowledge society by comparative analysis of its pillars in the EU Member States, accomplishing a study in view determine the rank of Romania in the EU concerning knowledge society, using the knowledge index and knowledge economy index, description of the strategies and programmes on knowledge society in Romania, identifying the main successful factors for the knowledge society.

1.1. Conceptual development of knowledge society

We are living in an era of major social, economic, financial, political transformations, an era of speed and complexity, an era dominated by knowledge and competences, based on values, culture, history and traditions. The complex phenomenon of knowledge society represents an important research topic together with other actual topics such as climate change, sustainable development, globalisation.

The scientific researches on the processes of knowledge society creation and modernisation could be defined as a promising direction of theoretical research in the field of social, administrative, economic, technical sciences as well as an important priority of the practical activities in various fields of the economic, political, social life and technological progress. The knowledge society is recognised and approached as a major topic at international, European and national level.

The knowledge society conceptualization reveals a diversity of approaches, thus reflecting the preoccupations on operationalization of this concept.

1.2. Analysis of the main initiatives, strategies, plans, programmes in United States of America, Japan and the European Union

1.2.1. United States of America

On 23 May 2012, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum: „Building a 21st century digital government”[6], recommending each federal agency in US to provide services to the American citizens, available on mobile devices in one year. In this respect President Obama recommends each agency to achieve two activities: to apply the elements of the strategy in one year and to create a “developer” page on the website of each federal agency.

The digital strategy specifies three objectives:

- „Accessing the governmental information in digital format;
- Adapting the administration to the digital universe and creating opportunities for the purchase of equipment, applications at affordable prices.
- Valorising the power of governmental data for enhancing the innovation and improving quality of services for the American people”[7].

1.2.2. Japan

During the 1980s, Japan’s economy registered a rapid and powerful growth based on ICT development, which were imported from USA and assimilated by the Japanese industry.

New technological innovations and new products and services were achieved. Japan exported those innovating products worldwide but the competition with USA enhanced during that period.

In view to overcome the crisis in 1990s, Japan developed research programmes, achieving a genuine reform in the field of science and technology. The four fundamental plans for science and technology, 1996 – 2001, 2001 – 2006, 2006 – 2011, 2011-2015 had an extraordinary impact on the knowledge society in Japan. The first two plans were dedicated to modernization of Japanese society, the third aimed the development of science and technology and the last plan aims the sustainable development of society through a concerted activity of reconstruction further the disasters produced by earthquakes and tsunami.

This country represents probably the most progressive case for knowledge society development in the world. The Japanese academic elite emphasised a development trajectory alternative to US and European conception about technology and power.

“Consequence of different evolutions, born from different (but related) histories, Japan and the European nations have entered the same historical process, the transformation of their society and economy into “Knowledge Societies”. The perception of the present and of the future is very similar”[8].

1.2.3. European Union

In the European Union, the knowledge society has gained relevance since the beginning of 1980s. In 1983, the European Council set up Senior Officials Group in Telecommunication (SOGT) as a consultative group of the European Commission in view to develop the telecommunication networks on long term. ICT was identified as a core technology for economic growth and employment.

In the 1990s, the European Union has started to focus on ICT applications. Thus in 1993 it published the White PaperGrowth, Competitiveness, Employment – Challenges for the 21st century”, which emphasises the importance of cross-European networks as factor for stimulating the European economy and decrease of unemployment. In 1994, the report „Europe and the Global Information Society - Recommendations to the European Council” (Bangemann Report)[9] was presented at the European Summit in Corfu. The open and competitive markets represent the best pillar for the informational networks and services. Bangemann Report highlights four stages for shaping the knowledge society in Europe: liberalization of the telecommunication market in Europe, creating the joint framework of regulation concerning standardization, copyright, enforcement of confidentiality and security for data transmission[10].

In the same year, the action plan „Europe’s Way to the Information Society”, was published, followed by „Green Paper on Living and Working in the Information Society: People first” focusing on the knowledge society. In 1996 the European Commission adopted the action plan „Europe at the Forefront of the Global Information Society”.

In 2000, the Lisbon Strategy provided that „the EU should become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion" by 2010.[11]. The European Council issued the action plan eEurope 2002, designed to speed up and extend the use of Internet in all sectors of the European society. In 2002, the Action Plan eEurope 2005 was launched aiming the development of e-services.

In June 2005, the European Commission published a new strategic framework „i2010 - A European Information Society for Growth and Employment”, and the progresses were recorded in the report on December 2005.

As the objective of Lisbon Strategy was not accomplished successfully, the EU has not become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, the European Council in June 2010 adopted Europe 2020 Strategy, representing the EU strategy for economic growth for the next ten years[12]. „The structural weaknesses exposed by the economic and financial crisis will solve through ongoing structural reforms, based on the efforts of all Member States as well as on the single market. Europe should be competitive if it wants to sustain the model of European social market economy”[13]. Thus, Europe 2020 provides priorities on short term concerning the economic crisis.

In 2011, Europe 2020 started its implementation both at European and national level through the exercise of the European Semester of coordination (January - July), which correlated three instruments: National Reform Programmes, Convergence Programmes and multiannual budgetary framework of the Member States. The European Semester focuses on evaluating the budget and structural policies of the Member States in view to identify the inadvertences. Recommendations are provided for the stage of national budgeting in view to make compatible the national strategies and programmes with the EU directions and policies.

On 7 July 2010, the Government of Romania approved the set of national objectives, reflected in the National Reform Programme[14], according to the European objectives of 2020 Strategy, taking into consideration the financial commitments and national specificity. The Government of Romania stipulated directions of action, budgets and institutions accountable for every objective within the National Reform Programme.

On 2 March 2012, the European Council endorsed the priorities for ensuring financial stability, fiscal consolidation and action to foster growth. It underscored the need to pursue differentiated, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, to restore normal lending conditions in economy, to promote growth and competitiveness, to tackle unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis, and to modernise public administration.

Romania, a country implementing the assistance programme with IMF, World Bank, the European Commission has not recorded significant progresses in achieving the wider Europe 2020 goals, some objectives on investments in research-development-innovation, the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, school dropout rate are difficult to be attained. Thus, the specific recommendations for Romania focused on accelerating the efforts for achieving the wider Europe 2020 goals, fostering competitiveness and employment, making public finances more sustainable, reinforcing financial stability, public investment, supported by improving EU funds absorption, applying consistently the programmes established (implementing the measures stipulated in Decision 2009/459/EC, Decision 2010/183/EU, Decision 2011/288/EU, in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 23 June 2009 and in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 29 June 2011)[15].

1.3.Pillars of knowledge society

The pillars of knowledge society refer to education, research and development, innovation, global competitiveness, information and communication technology.

1.3.1. Education

For the time being, the European Union is facing numerous and complex challenges. The effects of the economic and financial crisis are acknowledged in all EU Member States, and in this context, the education and training systems should adapt so that all the European citizens acquire knowledge, skills and competences in view to face the job challenges and requirements.

The quality of education and training represents an essential factor for an adaptable, competitive workforce and generation of smart economic growth. The education and training systems should provide quality for their programmes and the graduates should hold knowledge, competences, skills in view to meet the labour market requirements.

„It is necessary a proactive management of the offer of competences in view to stimulate innovation and emergent dynamic sectors for the economic growth”[16]. „The education and training systems should be modernised and should provide the necessary competences in view to respond better to the needs and requirements of the labour market”[17]. In the context of reducing the public expenditure, in view to achieve better results, it is important to improve the efficiency of the education and training systems through structural reforms. The European Commission analysed this topic in depth in its new initiative „Rethinking Education – Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes”, COM (2012) 669 final.

The structural and organisational reforms in the educational system aim to make lifelong learning and mobility a reality; to improve the quality and efficiency of education and training; to promote equity, social cohesion and active citizenship; and to enhance creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training.

According to the EU Report, „Education and Training Monitor”, „the role of education and training in fostering sustainable growth is decisive. Member States must pursue reforms to boost both the performance and efficiency of their education systems. Well targeted education and training policies will help Europe tackle the current crisis, while laying the foundations for a more dynamic, resilient, and united Europe”[18].

The comparative analysis in the European Union Member States reflects the status of education and training based on structural indicators: expenditure on education as % of GDP, index on higher education and training programmes, number of graduates of higher education institutions.

The actual context for the educational systems in the EU should be highlighted: on the one hand, the impact of the economic and financial crisis on labour market, on economy and overall society, and on the other hand, the demographic evolution, with relevant impact on the labour market, some states facing the decrease of the number of pupils and students, including also Romania.

Figure 1.1. Evolution of expenditure on education as % of GDP in the EU Member States during 2001-2009

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: the authors

During 2001-2009, the evolution of expenditure on education as % of GDP allocated to education was in general constant, the EU average being around the value of 5%, but this percentage does not reflect the differences between various EU Member States. While Germany, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Greece, Slovakia allocated a value between 4% and 5%, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Cyprus allocated almost double (7-8%). Since 2009, several European states were in recession and the effects of the economic and financial crisis have enhanced. Thus, in the context of the trend of decreasing public expenditure, most EU states increased investments in education, only Romania and Greece maintained the same level and Latvia and Malta decreased them. The motivation consists in the governments’ wish to invest in the educational systems as they represent the pillar for economic growth and competitiveness as well as in the authorities’ commitment on the development of competences and skills of pupils, students, trainees. It is worth to remark the fact that in 2009 Romania ranked the 24th while the Nordic countries Denmark, Sweden, Finland held the supremacy.

The European Commission has a clear vision on governance of the European higher education institutions, based on „diversifying the financing resources, enhancing cooperation between universities and industry, making compatible the offer of qualifications with the requirements of the labour market”[19]. „The classical governance model is replaced with a model focusing on managerialism, public accountability and quality in provision of public services”[20]. At the same time, the increasing interest for research in higher education represents „partially a function of extending higher education during the last decades and for the time being its character and performance have implications for all the members of society”[21].

The index for higher education and training programmes , evaluating the enrolment rate in high schools and faculties, quality of education, training programmes for teachers is presented in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2. Index for higher education and training programmes in the EU Member States in 2010

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: the authors

Romania ranked on the 25th– 26th place together with Slovakia with a value of 4.5%, while Finland holds the supremacy with 6.1% and the EU average is 5.1%.

The average of the number of students (1000) in higher education institutions (ISCED 5-6, Bachelor, master, PhD studies) in all fields during 2002 – 2010 in the EU Member States is presented in Figure 1.3.

Figure 1.3. Average of the number of students (1000) in higher education institutions (ISCED 5-6) in all fields during 2002 – 2010 in the EU Member States

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: the authors

In 2002, UK, Germany, France, Poland, Italy, Spain registered a number of students higher than the EU average and at the other extreme we find Malta, Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia.

As revealed by the figures from Eurostat, there is a constant annual increase of the number of students in all the EU Member States, Portugal and Spain. In Romania the value has doubled during 2002-2010.

In Romania, the highest increase is recorded between 2002-2009.

According to the data from Eurostat[22], in 2010, the number of the graduates of faculties in the field of social sciences, business and law (as percentage) recorded the highest value - 36% and among the countries exceeding this value we find Romania (60%), Latvia (54.4%) and Bulgaria (51.6%).

1.3.2. Research – development

The conclusions of the European Council on March 2012 reiterated for the European Research Area „the creation of a single market for research, development and innovation”, which should be finalised before 2014. The European Research Area (ERA) comprises all research, development activities, programmes and policies in Europe involving a cross-national perspective.

Cooperation in the field of science and technology improves the quality of research at European level and strengthens Europe’s competitiveness. The improvement of the transfer of knowledge between universities, industry and public research organizations is essential as the results of researches contribute to economic growth, support innovations and development of new products and services.

One of EU objectives in the last decade was to encourage the level of investments in view to stimulate the EU competitiveness. At the European Council in Barcelona in 2002, the EU agreed a target of at least 3% of GDP for research. Most Member States specified own objectives in their national reform programmes.

Figure 1.4. Research and development expenditure as % of GDP in the EU Member States in 2010

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: the authors

In 2010, in the EU, the expenditures targeted to research-development as percentage of GDP were estimated as representing 2.01% of GDP, (246 billion euro), a value under the objective of 3% established by Lisbon Strategy in 2002. Taking into consideration the fact that this objective has not been attained, Europe 2020 Strategy continues to specify the same objective of 3% of GDP for research-development.

It is worth to remark the fact that the Nordic countries, Finland, Sweden, Denmark exceeded this target, while Germany, Austria, France, Slovenia, Belgium were almost around this value. In this ranking, Romania is on the last position. Although research in Romania is underfinanced, there are areas of activity, which by excellence bring important contributions through innovative applications in the field of science and technology. An eloquent example is the Romanian Spatial Agency. Concerning the expenditure allocated for research-development, Romania aims to reach the level of 3% of GDP for the activity of research-development-innovation (of which 1% national public funds and 2% private funds) in 2015.

Analysing the rank of the EU Member States, several categories could be emphasised:

- States which reached the national objectives: Finland (3.9%), Sweden (3.39%), Denmark (3.07%), Germany (2.8%);
- States which are going to reach the national objectives based on their progress during 2000-2010: Austria (2.79%), Slovenia (2.09%), Ireland (1.71%), Italy (1.26%);
- States which should increase their growth rate: Belgium (2.01%), France (2.24%), Netherlands (1.85%), Portugal (1.59%), Estonia (1.63%), Spain (1.39%), Luxembourg (1.48%), Hungary (1.17%);
- States which should increase significantly their growth rate and should make efforts in view to exceed the EU average: Bulgaria (0.6%), Latvia (0.6%), Lithuania (0.8%), Poland (0.74%), Romania (0.46%), Cyprus (0.5%), Malta (0.67%), Slovakia (0.63%);
- States which have not specified national objective: United Kingdom (1.8%), Greece (0.61%), Czech Republic (1.55%).

1.3. 3. Innovation

The innovation represents an essential driver for a sustainable economic development and an essential prerequisite for a competitive economy.

Innovation reflects a given state of knowledge, a particular institutional environment, a certain availability of skills, and a network of producers and users who can communicate their experience. The ability and willingness of the relevant actors to cooperate and to link and share ideas, knowledge and experience beyond traditional organizational borders, as well as to exchange vital resources such as staff, is essential in innovation environments. In the field literature, this process has been framed in terms of ‘open innovation’[23][24][25][26][27].

Romania’s rank in the EU is analysed from the perspective of the index for innovation and factors of sophistication (Figure 1.5). The index refers to the representation of investments in research–development, especially those achieved by the private sector, the presence of top scientific research institutes, extended collaboration in the field of research between universities and industry, copyright.

Figure 1.5. Index for innovation and factors of sophistication in the EU Member States (2010)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: the authors

Comparing the index of Romania (3.24) with the indices of other EU states and the EU average, we find out that Romania is on the penultimate place, (EU average: 4.30), although it is a country with an extraordinary potential in this field, taking into account the number of patents, number of awards in various international contests or the researchers’ expertise.

In Romania, the performance of innovation is under the EU average but it has a very high rate of improvement. Romania’s strengths consist in outstanding inventions, relevant economic effects of inventions. The weaknesses refer to financing, support for the implementation of inventions. Unfortunately, Romania is rather in the stage of developing inventions than in the stage of their implementation.

In the knowledge society, the capacity of innovation and capacity to implement new innovations is very important for the public administration. „The public organizations should be able to incorporate information, knowledge, resources within the innovation processes and to harmonise the needs of citizens, businesses, NGOs etc.[28] ”.

Innovation represents a prerequisite for administration’s modernization. Innovation in public administration may be considered a learning process, a modality for new service development, new technology application, for changing the organisational structures as well as for implementing new managerial approaches in light to meet the citizens, businesses, society needs and requirements in facing the new challenges of knowledge society. Public sector innovation research shows that new insights stem from taking into account the ideas, insights and experiences of citizens as end-users[29][30][31][32], of the middle management of public organizations[33][34][35] and people who are engaged on a daily basis in rendering services to society, like police officers, teachers, doctors[36][37]. In light to take account of insights from various groups, the literature talks about the importance of seeing innovation as a process of co-creation[38][39]. Most innovations in public administration have an ICT component. ICT is interconnected in many practices in administration as information, communication represent vital resources for public service provision, for implementing public policies and achieving projects and programmes. ICT innovative potential is determined by specific characteristics, for example „the ability to process big data and to communicate beyond the temporal, functional and geographic borders”[40].

1.4. Study on Romania’s rank concerning knowledge society development in the European Union

The study is based on the Knowledge Assessment Methodology, developed by the World Bank, representing an interactive benchmarking tool, created in view to provide support to various countries in identifying the challenges and opportunities in the knowledge economy[41].

Table 1.1. Index of knowledge economy in the European Union

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: on the basis of World Bank, Knowledge Assessment Framework, http://info.worldbank.org/etools/kam2/KAM_page5.asp

Figure 1.6. Index of knowledge economy in Sweden, Romania and the European Union

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: the authors

Table 1.2. Index of knowledge in the European Union

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: based on data from the World Bank, Knowledge Assessment Framework, http://info.worldbank.org/etools/kam2/KAM_page5.asp

Figure 1.7. Index of knowledge in Sweden, Romania and the European Union

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: the authors

Unfortunately, Romania ranks on the penultimate position, for both indices, suggesting the fact that efforts should be made in light to improve all the components of those indices.

1.5. Strategies and programmes on knowledge society in Romania

The European Commission imposed „conditionalities” on the development of the European financed programmes and projects, which will be ex-ante applied, before payments and ex-post, after finalisation of the projects and submission of reports in view to transfer the final amounts.

For 2014-2020, the European Commission specifies: „the EU financing ensures powerful incentives for the Member States in view to reach Europe 2020 goals"[42].

"The previous experiences suggest that the effectiveness of the investments financed was compromised in some cases by bottlenecks of the regulation and institutional framework"[43], is mentioned in the document presented in August 2012, at the meeting of the Interinstitutional Committee. In this respect, the ministries should draw up 19 strategies and development plans for Romania for the next seven years. In this field, the strategies will be as follows:

- National Strategy for research-development and innovation 2014-2020;
- National Plan aimed at development of the next generation access infrastructure;
- Strategy on Romania computerisation for 2014-2020 - strategic framework for digital development.

1.6. Successful factors

Further the analysis of the knowledge society indicators, the following successful factors could be emphasised at national and European level: dynamics and size of the educational system; increase of the percentage of GDP allocated to education; increase of the number of enterprises focused on research and development; increase of the percentage of GDP allocated to research, development and innovation; researchers and academia participation in international events; publishing articles in journals indexed in international databases; participation in events in the field of science and technology; increase of the number of projects contracted in FP7; participation as partners in FP7 projects; achieving projects and studies in the field of knowledge society; collaboration in the EU financed international projects; creating a favourable framework in view to support inventions; encouraging the public-private partnership for invention implementation; stimulating the participation of the private sector in the research-development activities; stimulating ICT use; increasing the number of computers/household; decreasing the digital divide[44].

Taking into account Romania’s rank in the above analyses, our country should :

- stimulate the development of education;
- draw up and regulate mechanisms for ensuring the technological transfer and a better cooperation of research-development, universities, industry;
- stimulate the participation of the private sector in the research-development activities;
- strengthen the institutional capacity of the research-development-innovation sector;
- enhance the competitiveness of the Romanian economy by stimulating the use of the most innovative digital technologies;
- strengthen the ICT sector;
- improve public administration performance by coherent and generalised application of an integrated information system[45].

Conclusions

The knowledge society approach in light of its pillars has triggered the determination of successful factors both at national and international level.

The 21st century represents the century of knowledge, where the information and knowledge have an essential role for the world states’ economic-social development, as well as for modelling and affirmation of each individual.

As the ’knowledge society’ concept is associated to the ‘technological innovation’ concept, the knowledge society includes the social, cultural, economic, political and institutional transformation in the perspective of pluralistic development.

The knowledge society does not represent a formula, it is an epistemic phenomenon, with a clear methodology in light to identify common problems and search common solutions worldwide.

Knowledge society involves the development of the states’ capacity to identify, create, process, disseminate and use information and knowledge in view of sustainable development, economic growth and improvement of competitiveness, in light to face successfully new challenges of this millennium.

A feature highlighted by the field literature refers to the fact that knowledge society is developing based on ICT evolutions. However, ICT alone is not able to develop the knowledge society. Knowledge society should turn into account and develop the human capital, which incorporates the physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects of development, knowledge being considered a value added dimension.

Chapter 2

Knowledge management in public administration

Chapter 2 presents a perspective on knowledge management in public administration in its complexity. Knowledge management holds a significant multidisciplinary character, based on a broad range of disciplines and technologies, including economic, social, technical sciences, artificial intelligence, expert systems, information systems, decision-making support systems, document management, semantic networks, relational databases.

The chapter reveals in chronologic order the evolution of approaches concerning knowledge management on international and national level. The relationship between knowledge management, information technology, human resources and organizational learning bearing their specificity for public organisations is very important in view to substantiate the objectives, components, characteristics, activities, processes and practices of knowledge management in public administration. The second part of the chapter focuses on the analysis of objectives, components, characteristics, activities, processes and practices of knowledge management in public administration. A possible model of knowledge management in public administration is shaped. This chapter also approaches the information systems specific for knowledge management used by the public administration.

The evolution of knowledge management in public administration overlaps various stages in public administration evolution, from the traditional approaches to those corresponding to the digital era.

2.1. Background

One of the essential factors marking the development of organisations refers to the field of knowledge and information.

Knowledge management has become a research area aiming to valorise the know-how in the entire organisation in view to improve the decisional process and enhance the innovation. At the same time, it represents an important pillar for the organisation in light to manage better the knowledge and information. Knowledge management is not always easily to be defined as it comprises a various range of concepts, managerial aspects, technologies and practices.

The fast changes in the field of ICT have provided the capacity to create, collect, process, store, institutionalise and transmit better and faster data and information.

The importance of knowledge in a global complex and competitive environment is essential and those organisations which know how to acquire, share and manage knowledge will be leaders in their field of activity.

[...]


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Pages
134
Year
2014
ISBN (eBook)
9783656677512
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9783656677451
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1.6 MB
Language
English
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v273783
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Title: Public administration in the knowledge society