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Empowering front office employees with counseling affordances


Giesbrecht, Tobias; Schenk, Birgit; Schwabe, Gerhard (2015). Empowering front office employees with counseling affordances. Transforming Government, 9(4):517-544.

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the face-to-face citizen service encounter in public administrations’ front offices, and present a novel qualification approach to empower service personnel on-the-job, and thereby deepen the knowledge on the role of information and communication technology for advancing governmental reforms.
Design/methodology/approach – The presented study follows a design science research methodology, conducted in collaboration with the public administration of a major German city. Data were collected using multiple quantitative and qualitative methods, including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and video analysis.
Findings – A novel on-the-job qualification approach for empowering public employees in their job-related skills, building on the concept of affordances, is developed. Thereto, six design principles for equipping artifacts with counseling affordances are presented. Evaluations in real-world environments provide first evidence that “learning with counseling affordances” constitutes an effective qualification measure to initiate experiential learning on-the-job, helping employees in the resource-restricted work environment of public front offices to obtain the skills to provide superior advisory services. Research limitations/implications – The “learning with counseling affordances” approach was developed in collaboration with an individual major German city and the paper provides first evidence of its effectiveness and suitability. Hence, the study’s insights should be approved by further research to strengthen generalizability.
Originality/value – The paper highlights the previously neglected aspects of employee’s skills and qualification for promoting governmental transformation. By highlighting the beneficial relationship between affordances and on-the-job learning, the paper provides novel insights on the role of information and communication technology to promote governmental transformation.
Keywords Affordances, Design science, Learning on-the-job, Qualification Paper type Research paper

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the face-to-face citizen service encounter in public administrations’ front offices, and present a novel qualification approach to empower service personnel on-the-job, and thereby deepen the knowledge on the role of information and communication technology for advancing governmental reforms.
Design/methodology/approach – The presented study follows a design science research methodology, conducted in collaboration with the public administration of a major German city. Data were collected using multiple quantitative and qualitative methods, including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and video analysis.
Findings – A novel on-the-job qualification approach for empowering public employees in their job-related skills, building on the concept of affordances, is developed. Thereto, six design principles for equipping artifacts with counseling affordances are presented. Evaluations in real-world environments provide first evidence that “learning with counseling affordances” constitutes an effective qualification measure to initiate experiential learning on-the-job, helping employees in the resource-restricted work environment of public front offices to obtain the skills to provide superior advisory services. Research limitations/implications – The “learning with counseling affordances” approach was developed in collaboration with an individual major German city and the paper provides first evidence of its effectiveness and suitability. Hence, the study’s insights should be approved by further research to strengthen generalizability.
Originality/value – The paper highlights the previously neglected aspects of employee’s skills and qualification for promoting governmental transformation. By highlighting the beneficial relationship between affordances and on-the-job learning, the paper provides novel insights on the role of information and communication technology to promote governmental transformation.
Keywords Affordances, Design science, Learning on-the-job, Qualification Paper type Research paper

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1 citation in Web of Science®
1 citation in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:09 Feb 2016 15:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:01
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN:1750-6166
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-02-2015-0006
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:12963

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