Towards a Data-driven Tax Administration: The Balancing Act of Innovating Digital Solutions through Intra-organisational Collaboration

Ann Fugl-Meyer

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


Aim: This paper investigates how a team of IT developers in one organisational unit innovate digital solutions to be used by professionals in other units within the same policy area. Digitalisation plays an important role in transforming the public sector and has a strong impact on how governments interact with citizens. Methods and
Theory: Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the IT and Development Agency, one
of seven agencies in the Danish Tax Administration, I provide novel insights into,
and detailed accounts of the ways in which a team of IT-developers adapted to a new agile working methodology. By applying translation theory, looking at rule-based activities and the concept of translation space, this study investigates the process of translating ‘an IT-request’ into a digital solution.
Results: This study demonstrates how the implemented SAFe methodology has been adjusted to fulfil state requirements and enable collaboration across multiple organisational units within the public sector. This impacts the anticipated autonomy of the self-organising teams, where the development request has been increasingly shaped by multiple actors across translation spaces before it reaches the agile team. There is an interconnectedness across translation spaces, where boundaries of the request have been added, that ends up ‘sticking’ to the IT-request, thereby also shaping the digital solutions that the team develops. This study also shows how the team usesthe latitude
they have in their agile roles to engage in a pull translation extracting the information that they need. An IT-driven agenda permeates the entire delivery process and to make a request for a digital solution demands profound IT knowledge from tax professionals, a type of knowledge that is new to them. Contribution: This study contributes with new knowledge on how multiple authorities within the public sector collaborate to produce digitalised solutions.
Antal sider30
StatusUdgivet - 2021
Begivenhed37th EGOS Colloquium 2021: Organizing for an Inclusive Society: Meanings, Motivations, and Mechanisms - Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Holland
Varighed: 8 jul. 202110 jul. 2021
Konferencens nummer: 37


Konference37th EGOS Colloquium 2021
LokationVrije Universiteit


  • Change
  • Translation theory
  • Translation space
  • Agile methodologies
  • Public sector digitalisation