Tallinna Tehnikaülikool

PhD position in Digital Transformation in the Public Sector

Thesis title: Digital Transformation in the Public Sector
PhD Programme: Public Administration
Supervisor: Veiko Lember, PhD, Senior Research Fellow
Offered by:  School of Business and Governance,
Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance

Digital transformation in the form of substantially new organizational practices, capabilities and models has become the key theme in contemporary public administration and management debates. Yet, in spite of the growing calls for digital transformation in the public sector, the current research has only rarely looked beyond the adoption of specific technologies (from social media to blockchain) and processes (from digitized transactions to agile procurement). Consequently, we still know relatively little about if and how the adoption of digital technologies is related to transformations of entire public sector organizations, the emergence of novel public management and policy practices and, ultimately, new public sector reform trajectories.

The PhD dissertation is expected to focus on one of the following broad themes, while also contributing to the other two:

  • digital governance models – what are the emerging digital transformation models and reform trajectories on the national/regional/local levels in different geographical and cultural contexts;
  • organizational transformations – which managerial and organizational processes enable the continuous and rapid uptake and adoption of digital technologies (i.e. the high-level technological capacities) that lead to organizational transformations in the public sector;
  • service innovation – how does the adoption of digital technologies influence the public service delivery systems on the national/regional/local levels (the changing role of place and residency in service delivery/consumption, allocation of service responsibilities between different government levels, new value creation models etc.).

The idea of the PhD project is to contribute to the ongoing academic debates by providing new theoretical insights and empirical evidence on the transformative implications of digital technologies on public sector organizations and emerging public administration trajectories.

In addition to the general TalTech admission criteria, the applicants should fulfil the following requirements:

  • Prior knowledge of public administration;
  • Excellent knowledge of at least one of the following research areas: digital governance, organizational theory, innovation theory, service delivery, public management/policy;
  • Excellent command of English, knowledge of Estonian is a bonus.

Candidates are expected to submit a short motivation letter for applying to the position and an example of her/his previous academic work (in whatever format, preferably in English).

We offer:

  • 4-year PhD position in one of the largest, most internationalized and leading social science research centres in Estonia with a large portfolio of ongoing digital governance projects;
  • The chance to do high-level research in and about one of the most dynamic digital government contexts globally;
  • Opportunities for conference visits, research stays and networking with leading universities in the field of digital government, public administration and innovation studies;
  • Combined net income from state scholarship and salary starting from 1200 EUR/month.​​​​​​