Managing Stovepiped Organisations - A Comparison of Public and Private Organisations

Hakan Sundberg, Karl W. Sandberg


Stovepiped systems and difficulties associated with managing cross-functional boundaries are problems that are hindering the successful implementation of customercentred systems and processes within public organisations. The present study covers public organisations, and discusses and analyses the results in relation to those from a previous study in the banking sector. While problems with stovepiped systems and departments have, in general, been solved in the banking sector, the results from the interviewed public organisations confirm that the stovepipe problem is still evident and that cross-functional collaboration, processes, customer focus and integration of services and channels all require additional improvement or development. The present study concludes that the goals with the highest priority for leaders in public organisations are not those associated with customer relations and that the political level rates higher than the customers demands. The public organisations are following a similar path to that of the private sector, but there are differences in both the time-frame and ability to implement changes due to weaker incentives for customer related work, and additionally, a larger organisational inertia of both culture and collaboration to overcome. Similarities are found in IT organisations and projects, and in the views regarding business organisations and the necessity for an enterprise architecture.

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