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Establishment of Customer Centres in the Public Sector in Sweden: the Citizens' Views
University West, Department of Economics and IT, Division of Law, Politics and Economics. (INNOVETA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2118-2152
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on e-Government: National Centre for Taxation Studies University of Limerick, Ireland 17-18 June 2010 / [ed] Dave O´Donnell, Intellectual Capital Research, Limerick, Ireland, Reading, UK: Academic Publishing Limited , 2010, p. 63-70Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Today there is a development in Sweden towards reforming the public sector with the help of information technology (IT). The international name for this is eGovernment. This is a political decision aiming  not only for  increased IT-use in the public sector, but also for  the implementation of  an organizational change within the municipalities in Sweden. This has led to several Swedish municipalities customer centres having been established.

The main function of a municipal customer centre is to supply services to the citizens more efficiently by primarily using telephone and ICTtechnology in order to handle customer contacts. The employees at  the customer centres are educated in different subject  areas in order to being able to directly answer and solve routine questions and tasks from the citizens that are not too complicated without having to send the questions to the back office of the organisation. This paper aims to analyze some of the consequences for the citizens.

The empirical data comes  from four municipalities in Sweden and the research method of the study is qualitative (semi-structured telephone-interviews with citizens and recorded interviews with different personnel categories from three municipalities) . The analyzing model used is the “the MOA-model”. It was implemented in order to analyze the establishment’s focus on the customers and it was also used as this study’s  theoretical frame of reference.

The main result shows that the establishment of the customer centres is something positive from the  citizens’ point of view. E.g., the accessibility to the public municipal service has increased for most of the citizens and their experience of the delivered service via the telephone contacts was positive, as well as the registering of every issue with the customer centre which implies that the citizens can govern the needs for public municipality service. However, there are some negative aspects, e.g. the use of touch tone, and  there is still a risk of creating a digital divide, especially among  elderly citizens.

Keywords: Public customer centres, citizens, e-governance, municipality, New Public Management

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading, UK: Academic Publishing Limited , 2010. p. 63-70
Keywords [en]
e-government, public contact centres, municipalities
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2590ISBN: 978-1-906638-63-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-2590DiVA, id: diva2:328381
Conference
10th European Conference on e-Government
Projects
InnovetaAvailable from: 2010-08-12 Created: 2010-07-02 Last updated: 2016-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Bernhard, Irene

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