The title of the proposed research can be phrased as follows: “Smart Services and Re-Engineered Processes of Dubai Government: A Study of a Stakeholder of DEWA.” It is a new, reviewed title that reflects a change towards a topic that is more applicable to the case study and of greater interest to the researcher. Also, the researcher’s position as a stakeholder was emphasized. Still, the new title reflects the topic and scope (location) of the research like the old one.
It is noteworthy that the new topic is better researched than the previous one, and as a result, no shortage of information was encountered during the study of the previous topic (Davenport, 2013; Dolicanin, Kajan, Randjelovic, & Stojanovic, 2014; Mola, Pennarola, & Za, 2015). The fact that the topic is more researchable also makes it more attractive.
Brief about the Title
Nowadays, greater attention is paid to the effectiveness and transparency of governmental activities (Morton-Huddleston, 2012), and as a result, new means of improving a government’s ability to fulfill its functions are being developed, one of which is the “smart services” notion. The “smartness” of a phenomenon is assessed through its use of innovative models and technologies, which leads to the improvement of the process’s ability to fulfill its aim (Dolicanin et al., 2014; Mola et al., 2015).
As a result, “smart services” are concerned with the use of modern approaches and technologies in the area of service, which for smart government, involves public services (Kusek, Verheijen, & Bhatti, 2014). Dolicanin et al. (2014) also suggest that a smart government is supposed to take into account the environmental sustainability of a country and its financial development, which can be regarded as governmental functions as well (p. 19).
Just like the majority of innovative processes, the implementation of smart service is likely to involve re-engineering (RE) (Mola et al., 2015, p. 66), which can be defined as a change that is directed at the structure of a process or organization and which is often related to technology implementation and use (Davenport, 2013).
SS in the field of governmental services is connected to the concept of electronic government (e-government). The term describes the use of information and communication technologies by governments, but it is typically concerned with various attempts at enhancing the processes with the help of modern technologies (Bhatnagar, 2009, pp. 1-2). In other words, e-government can be regarded as a term that intersects with SS.
E-government has become very popular in developed and developing countries (International Business Publications, 2016, p. 69); it is widely adopted in the Middle East, including the UAE (International Business Publications, 2016; Kusek et al., 2014). The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) (2016) has been supporting governmental activities that are aimed at government services improvements (including the Dubai Plan 2021), which implies that it is interested in developing SS and related RE (para. 7). As a result, the company is a suitable location for the study.
A research problem can be described as an “issue that leads to the need for a study” (Creswell, 2013, p. 108). For the current research, the problem of the implementation of SS is going to be considered within the context of DEWA. The successfulness of the models of SS and e-government largely depends on their implementation, including the activities that are related to the adjustment of organizational structure and assimilation of new elements (Bhatnagar, 2009, p. 79). Given the fact that RE typically involves significant changes, it can also be regarded as a high-risk activity that needs appropriate management (Davenport, 2013). As a result, the current study will consider DEWA’s perception of the problem and its response to determine possible difficulties and appropriate solutions.
A study of one company (and, therefore, one implementation process) is not very generalizable, but it is of interest to researchers and practitioners, as it might describe a situation (issue, solution) that might fit other organizations (Creswell, 2013, p. 204). Therefore, the study is an exploratory work that aims to discover and describe an example of SS implementation.
The specific research questions for the research problem are going to consider various aspects of the implementation of SS and the re-engineering of government services, which may include the following elements.
To which extent is the call for SS is recognized at DEWA? The reasons for DEWA’s attitude as well as its manifestations and their positive or negative impacts on implementation processes are going to be considered here.
What is the organization’s response? What are the specific models and activities of SS that are employed or are planned to be employed at DEWA? What are the RE processes that have been involved?
What is the mechanism of the implementation process? Here, the whole system with the implementation team, their responsibilities, methods, and monitoring, and control tools are to be discussed.
How was the implementation carried out? Here, the focus will be on the challenges and issues as well as the specific means of mitigating them. The section can be regarded as the lessons that have been learned by the body throughout implementing the SS.
What are the outcomes of the implementation? The specific, measurable outcomes that demonstrate the results of the team’s work should be mentioned in this part.
How successful is DEWA at the implementation of the models and activities? The answer to this question will differ from the previous one as it is supposed to evaluate the changes, not just state them. The team metrics can be used, but if they are unavailable, they can be substituted by specifically developed ones based on the best practices in the area (Bhatnagar, 2009). Also, the level of customization of the program and the extent to which it is capable of satisfying the company’s needs must be investigated (Klischewski, 2011).
The question of how “smart” the services have become is applicable as well; it is necessary to consider the goals of the project team as well as the actual changes in the performance of the body.
What is the future of the DEWA innovation? Is it durable? Is it modifiable or will it have to be discarded when new technology comes along? Resilience and flexibility are necessary for a model in the modern rapidly changing world (Klischewski, 2011).
The questions offer a very extensive, in-depth study, but they may be modified as more information on the topic and DEWA is discovered. If any of them appears to be impossible to pursue, it may be omitted; if additional research opportunities arise, they may be used, and if a part of DEWA’s implementation process deserves particular attention, it may be employed as the main and only aspect that will be studied.
The motive of the Research
I am a worker and a consumer of DEWA, which means that I am personally interested in the proposed research in several ways. The study in the area is likely to make me more knowledgeable concerning e-government and its implementation, which implies that my professional knowledge and qualities will receive a boost. As a result, the research holds a promise of improving my professional performance and, possibly, even enhancing my career growth.
Apart from that, I intend to make the research practically applicable, which means that there is a chance that the results will be useful for my organization. I do not hope to produce a groundbreaking discovery, but I tend to think that workplace-based studies are capable of contributing to the improvement of the said workplaces. Therefore, I might benefit from the research if my company’s processes become more advanced. In this case, I will experience positive outcomes as a customer (due to better services) and a worker (due to better processes and the pride for my organization). Naturally, contributing to the development of my company is an achievement of its own, which is an important motive for the current research.
Apart from the above-mentioned professional growth, the research will help me to develop some core skills, for example, those related to the information collection, management, and presentation as well as reporting and writing skills. Moreover, I am interested in the topic, and the opportunity to research SS and RE excites me. To sum up, I am going to benefit from the current research in multiple ways, and these benefits together with my interest in the topic constitute my wish to carry it out.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study will be limited to one organization: DEWA that is located in Dubai, the UAE. DEWA was chosen primarily for the reasons recited above and also because researching one’s workplace simplifies the process to an extent. In particular, it is easier to access the place and relevant information and to predict the areas of interest and people of importance. However, my involvement might become an obstacle to the study as well by making me biassed (Coghlan & Brannick, 2014). During the preparation stage, it may be recommended to learn about insider research to be able to exploit the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of this type of investigation.
Uniqueness and Originality
The areas of SS, e-government, and RE processes are being actively studied nowadays, predominantly because they have gained popularity among practitioners (Davenport, 2013; Kusek et al., 2014). It may be suggested that the research is going to become a contributor to an actively researched area of study, which makes it more attractive for a researcher and increases its originality (Creswell, 2013, p. 107). At the same time, the new topic is better researched than the previous one, and there is no shortage of information; in fact, the processes of SS implementation by various governments (especially in the Middle East) and related RE are very well-documented (Mola et al., 2015, p. 317).
Therefore, there is a sufficient basis for this research, and the present study is capable of contributing to it by developing an area that is of great interest to the researchers in the field. In this respect, the format of a case study does not only bring limitations; it also increases the originality of the work since it will target one particular organization. As a result, the findings of the investigation might be used within the said organization for customized, original solutions.
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