New Zealand's ICT Strategy: the respective roles of senior and middle management in promoting collaboration and innovation

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Author name: 
Jones, Suzanne and Hooper, Tony

The global financial crisis of 2007–08 encouraged governments to exploit information and communication technologies. The New Zealand government responded by developing an Information and Technology Strategy to 2017. This investigation surveyed middle managers awareness of the Strategy, the level of collaboration and innovation they engaged in and what they considered the barriers and enablers to be. These data were triangulated with the perceptions of senior public officials. While there was a disconnect between what senior managers expected of middle managers and how middle managers perceived their role and responsibilities, there was agreement among senior and middle managers on the barriers to innovation based on agency responsibilities and priorities. Ingrained corporate behavior has incentivised low risk, stable, reliable and accountable staff, while risk taking and entrepreneurial capabilities have not been rewarded. The Strategy was revised and simplified, and senior manager views gathered again to see if their initial perceptions had changed.

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