Digitalizing Finland: Governance of government ICT projects

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, auditorium TA105 (Arina Hall)

Topic of the dissertation

Digitalizing Finland: Governance of government ICT projects

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science (Engineering) Teemu Lappi

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management

Subject of study

Industrial Engineering and Management


Associate Professor Magnus Hellström, Åbo Akademi University


Associate Professor Kirsi Aaltonen, University of Oulu

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Governance of government ICT projects

Digitalization is a megatrend that also drives public sector reforms toward improved citizen service processes by adopting digital technologies. The digitalization of the public sector, also referred to as e-government transformation, is a strenuous change process that is eventually carried out through individual information and communication (ICT) development projects and programs.

ICT projects in the public sector still struggle due to challenges and complexities such as technological uncertainty. These project-level struggles impair e-government efforts that are already facing strategic and regulative difficulties, which, again, affect ICT project performance. How a temporary project is connected and contributes to the strategic objectives of a more permanent structure is the focus of project governance. In e-government context it can be applied to describe and elaborate on the ICT project alignment and control practices in and between different organizations within the e-government transformation.

The underlying motivation for this research is to improve the current understanding of project governance in e-government: how ICT project governance can be applied to support public sector digitalization. The dissertation study follows a constructive research approach, using multiple qualitative methods on empirical data from the Finnish central government. By synthesizing the results from four individual research publications, this dissertation explores the ICT project governance practices and tensions that take place in different levels within the e-government transformation.

The dissertation proceeds to construct a multi-level model that indicates how the perceived challenges and tensions could be remedied, thus enabling managers and practitioners in the field to conduct the right ICT projects properly and, hence, support the e-government transformation.
Last updated: 1.3.2023