Submission Deadline: extended to April 1, 2019
Notification to Authors: April 22, 2019
Deadline for Final Papers: May 15, 2019
Date of the workshop: June 10 
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Workshop Theme, Scope and Topics

This workshop targets digital platforms for realising public interests. Public sector organizations around Europe are introducing platforms as part of their digital strategies, but we still have a limited understanding of the challenges associated with establishing platforms in the public sector (Fishenden & Thompson, 2013; Brown et al., 2017), and with realizing public interests.

Platforms leverage dynamics of multi-sided markets and exploit network effects (Balwin and Woodward, 2009; Tiwana, 2013; Constantinides et al., 2018; de Reuver et al., 2018). In addition, they are adaptable, scalable and extensible technologies. However, network effects of platform ecosystems (i.e. the self-reinforcing process where more customers trigger more suppliers, which attracts more customers, and so on) may be facilitated towards different aims than the ones found in market situation and especially for realizing public interests. Monetising network effects is not a key interest for such platforms (Bygstad & D'Silva, 2015). A key interest is to leverage network effects for mobilising more resources from inside and outside public organisations, and to trigger decentralised innovation and cocreation of value. Network effects can for instance contribute to better synergizing rather than competing (Vassilakopoulou et al, 2017). These mechanisms and dynamics need to be better understood in order to leverage the potentials of latformization towards a better society.

Current research has mainly addressed platforms in the commercial sector and for private interests (Parker et al., 2016). While the insights from this research are highly relevant, there are also important areas where platformization for public interests can be expected to differ as the technical, regulatory and organisational complexity can be much higher. The notion of `public', is broadly defined to include governmental, non-profit, and nongovernmental organizations that act in the public interest, as opposed to private gain. The development of national and regional platforms for public interests can be undertaken as joint endeavour between public and private actors at multiple levels, to stimulate socioeconomic benefits and innovation, involving a diverse portfolio of systems and registers.

Furthermore, the role of the citizens not as mere service recipients but as contributors and co-creators is becoming more central while security concerns, government´s responsibility for citizens´ privacy and citizens´ demand for transparent use of data are rising (Linders, 2012; Nam, 2012).

This workshop seeks to contribute to the theorization of these concerns. The themes include but are not limited to:

  • Network effects of synergizing rather than competing in the public domain
  • How platforms shift work practices of public sector professionals with the inclusion of citizens
  • Empirical studies of platformization, including the gradual process of establishing a platform
  • How technical and organizational structures and governance regimes shape and are shaped by specific public interests concerns
  • Business models and governance models platforms for public interests
  • The role of the citizens not as mere service recipients but as contributors and cocreators
  • Security concerns, government´s responsibility for citizens´ privacy and citizens´demand for transparent use of data
  • Core requirements for platformization strategies towards sustainability
  • Process theory on “platformization” that describes key steps and core challenges in the building of platforms for public interests and surrounding eco-systems
  • Theorising on the interdependencies between architectural (technical) design, organizational forms, and governance regimes

We seek to contribute to the research as indicated above, and to formulate insights related to designing, studying and theorising platforms for public interests. The workshop offers an opportunity to explore new ideas, review ongoing research, and engage in lively and critical discussions about platformization for the public interests.

Workshop format

Authors are invited to submit short papers, not exceeding seven pages (including all figures, tables and references) using the ECIS Research In Progress template. The workshop will be a one-day event, starting with two short keynotes followed by two sessions. The details of the program workshop will be published after the deadline for the workshop. Program, papers and report will be made available at:

The submitted papers will be reviewed by the members of the workshop committee. Each paper will receive two reviews and an editorial note from the workshop organizers.

Authors will have the opportunity to revise their papers.

Committee member and potential participants

o Margunn Aanestad (Oslo University, Norway)
o Miria Grisot (Kristiania University College, Norway)
o Anna Sigridur Islind (University West, Sweden)
o Polyxeni Vassilakopoulou (University of Agder, Norway)
o Eli Hustad (University of Agder, Norway)
o Alexander Moltubakk Kempton (Oslo University, Norway)
o Bendik Bygstad (Oslo University, Norway)
o Ole Hanseth (Oslo University, Norway)
o Elena Parmiggiani (NTNU, Norway)
o Johan Lundin (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
o Tina Blegind Jensen (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
o Helle Zinner Henriksen (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
o Jonas Hedman (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
o Mark Thompson (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
o Will Venters (London School of Economics, United Kingdom)
o Joan Rodón Mòdol (Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain)
o Mark de Reuver (TUDelft)
o Paolo Spagnoletti (LUISS, Italy)
o Jenny Lagsten (Örebro University, Sweden)
o Tomas Lindroth, (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

Plan for publication

We are in the final negotiations regarding a proposal for a special issue to a basket Journal.

Target Audience

The workshop aims to attract researchers and practitioners who are interested in the topics of platformization at large. In the workshop, participants will share their knowledge about concrete cases and theoretical conceptualizations. We want to reach out in order to establish a community of researchers that can cooperate beyond the event itself. We seek to build on and extend the efforts of an ongoing, but not yet
formalized, collaborative network of European researchers.

Workshop Organizers

Margunn Aanestad, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway.
Margunn Aanestad is Professor in Information Systems. She studied medical electronics engineering (B. Eng and M. Eng) at the University of Stavanger and received her Ph.D. on informatics from the University of Oslo. She has researched the introduction of information and communication technologies in healthcare organizations and their impact on information processes and service provision. Her research has a special focus on inter-organizational, networked collaboration, and belongs theoretically in the Information Systems field. She has published, among others, in Information Systems Research, Strategic Journal of Information Systems, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Information Technology, Information Systems Journal, Journal of the AIS and MIS Quarterly.

Miria Grisot, Department of Technology, Kristiania University College, Norway.
Miria Grisot is an Associate Professor in Information Systems. She holds a degree in Political Science with a specialization in Organization and Work from the University of Bologna, and a Ph.D. in Information Systems from the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. Her main research interests are in the areas of information systems innovation, complexity and socio-technical systems, and organizational change, specifically in healthcare. She teaches medical informatics, information infrastructures and platforms, IS research. She is a member of the Association of Information Systems.

Polyxeni Vassilakopoulou, Department of Information Systems, University of Agder, Norway.
Polyxeni Vassilakopoulou is an Associate Professor in Information Systems. She studied industrial engineering (combined B. Eng and M. Eng) at the Technical University of Crete, and operations research at Columbia University (MSc). She received her Ph.D. from the National Technical University of Athens. Her research interests are related to information systems for complex work settings with a dual focus on system’s design and systems’ appropriation and use. Empirically, her research is focused in healthcare. Prior
to joining academia she worked in management consulting for over a decade leading large-scale projects of ICT-enabled interventions within the services sector (Financial Services, Public Sector and Social Services).

Tomas Lindroth, Department of Applied Information Technology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Tomas Lindroth is a postdoc at University of Gothenburg. He studied information systems at University West and recived his Ph.D. From University of Gothenburg. Tomas has researched the hybrids assemblages of humans and mobile technology, experiential computing in higher education the datafication of work and design processes of platforms. He teaches interaction design, social media dynamics as well as platform
thinking. Tomas has published in journals and conferences within educational technologies, human computer-interaction, cscw, health informatics as well as information systems.


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Brown, A., Fishenden, J., Thompson, M., & Venters, W. (2017). Appraising the impact and role of platform models and Government as a Platform (GaaP) in UK Government public service reform: towards a Platform Assessment Framework (PAF). Government Information Quarterly.
Bygstad, B., & D'Silva, F. (2015). Government as a platform: a historical and architectural analysis. In NOKOBIT (Norsk konferanse for organisasjoners bruk av IT), 2015.
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Fishenden, J and Thompson, M. (2013), Digital government, open architecture, and innovation: why public sector IT will never be the same again, Journal of public administration research and theory, 23 (4), 977-1004.
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Tiwana, A. (2013), Platform ecosystems: aligning architecture, governance, and strategy. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
Vassilakopoulou, P., Grisot, M., Jensen, T. B., Sellberg, N., Eltes, J., Thorseng, A., & Aanestad, M. (2017). Building National eHealth Platforms: the Challenge of Inclusiveness. ICIS 2017, Seoul, Korea.