The Challenge of Collaboration – ICT Implementation Networks in Courts in The Netherlands

Florian HENNING, Gar Yein NG


Increasingly, public sector organisations are adopting Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in order to improve their operations, a tendency that is commonly referred to as “e-government”. However, e-government also comes with some major challenges for public administrators in introducing and managing those e-services, because they are usually located at the nexus of technological innovation and organisational and institutional change. In order to achieve the expected benefits from ICT in public organisations, work processes need to be re-engineered, whilst responsibilities and authority locations are shifting. A particular challenge in this respect is the trend towards e-services that cut across traditional organisational boundaries and integrate information flows between a number of different organisational actors with complex settings of strongly divergent backgrounds, practices and interests. Good examples of this, and the focus of this paper, are e-services in the judiciary (“e-justice”). In this paper, we address the issue of mediation required to motivate actors for collaboration in joint e-justice services. Our main research question therefore is: What is the role of legal frameworks for mediation and legitimization of collaborative implementation in inter-organisational e-justice projects? We will address this question by means of a case study analysis on judicial videoconferencing in the Netherlands, a project called “Telehoren en Telepleiten” (THTP).

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