P31 Trust in smart public governance

Panel Chairs:
Barbara Kożuch, Frédérique Six, Katarzyna Sienkiewicz-Małyjurek, Shlomo Mizrahi and Tony Kinder

Corresponding Chair:
Katarzyna Sienkiewicz-Małyjurek,  katarzyna.sienkiewicz-malyjurek@polsl.pl

Smart public governance creates many opportunities, as well as many problems. Smart public governance based on modern technological solutions and service system design has the potential to better organise public services and to increase the effectiveness of processes carried out in public networks. Many public services, however, are inherently person-interactive (Hasenfeld, 1983), with service delivery taking place within the interaction between two (or more) human beings (e.g., health care, youth care, reintegration, police, education), requiring professionals to be responsive to client needs (Lipsky, 1980). In this interaction trust, which is cognitive and affective, is crucial. The interaction between smart technologies and the need for the emotional-affective dimension of many public services is therefore not straightforward.

Osborne’s (2010) public governance paradigm acknowledges the relational dimension of public services and the important role of trust, as do related concepts like co-production, co-creation and collaboration. In these approaches actors need to be open to others’ influence, so they can learn to find shared goals and ways-of-working; this involves vulnerability and uncertainty. Trust supports this by suspending the “irreducible social vulnerability and uncertainty as if they were favourably resolved” (Möllering, 2006, p. 111). How can smart solutions (e.g., digitalization and AI) support and enable such processes?

In this panel we are going to explore the role of trust in smart public governance in all its facets and different relationships. Possible, though not limiting, themes are:

  • Trust-based organisational forms and governance mechanisms within public service delivery organisations.
  • Trust-based models of leadership emphasizing positive impact on co-workers by developing sustainable relationships.
  • The role of trust in public sector innovation and public value creation, especially in co-creation initiatives.
  • The role of trust and distrust in the public sector reform, especially those triggered by austerity.
  • The role of trust (and/or distrust) and control in inter-organisational collaborations and contracting relationships.
  • The contingent relationship between trust and control in public service delivery.
  • Building, maintaining and restoring trust after violations, and then fostering it.
  • Measuring trust within public service delivery, especially in comparative studies and when studying cross-cultural or cross-institutional trust.
  • Trust in technologies used in the public sector.
  • Opportunities and barriers of creating public trust.

This panel focuses on exploring new insights into trust-based public governance, the place of trust in the smart approach to public services delivery, and the ability of public organisations to collaborate using smart solutions.