Digital transformation introduces new opportunities for public services, such as wastewater management. The opportunities include better interoperability and data availability, leading to such benefits as predictive maintenance and efficient allocation of resources. To reach the envisioned benefits, inter-organisational collaboration is essential. However, municipal water utilities have varying objectives, expectations, and challenges related to collaboration. This paper reports a field study on the digitalisation opportunities of municipal water services in Finland. We report the observed collaboration forms, rationale, expected benefits, and recognised challenges (i.e., the modes of inter-organizational collaboration) for deploying digitalised operations. This study provides insight into inter-organisational collaboration on the digital transformation of municipal water management. On a theoretical level, the study supports and complements the previously theorised collaboration modes of autonomous development, standardisation, and central service organization. The results also describe why and how limited company mode emerges in the sector, corresponding to the previously described consortium mode.
Hietala, Heidi; Rossi, Pekka M.; Annanperä, Elina; and Päivärinta, Tero, "Modes of Collaboration in Digital Transformation of Municipal Wastewater Management" (2021). ECIS 2021 Research Papers. 91.
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