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Digitising criminal justice in England and Wales: revisiting information‐growth dynamics

Digitising criminal justice in England and Wales: revisiting information‐growth dynamics Purpose – The main purpose of this research is to analyse the socio‐technical consequences deriving from the digitisation of crown prosecutors' work. Design/methodology/approach – This research is based on an in‐depth, qualitative case study of the use of technologies by crown prosecutors. It relies on observations, focus groups and semi‐structured interviews conducted in London and Humberside over a 15‐month time‐span. The overarching methodological approach interweaves the empirical data with the theory of information growth which postulates that information is a difference that makes a difference. Findings – The main finding is that the digitisation of prosecutors' work has produced an increasingly‐larger, interlocked domain of digital information by triggering the need for new data standards which, in turn, have created the need for new information‐handling capabilities, thus prompting a ubiquitous infrastructure of self‐propelling differences. Research limitations/implications – The information growth dynamics investigated have broader implications in relation to information privacy, security and data ownership that go beyond the scope of this research. Practical implications – It is suggested that rather than steering the information‐growth process, public sector managers should attempt to control the premises of such a process by setting out a structured information quality management procedure both for domain‐specific and generic data standards. Originality/value – It is argued that plans are makeshift accomplishments that are bound to succumb to the overarching process of information growing out of information. Once viewed from this vantage point, cross‐organisational governance structures are no longer the outcome of pre‐defined plans but rather the side effect of a self‐reinforcing process of information growth. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Digitising criminal justice in England and Wales: revisiting information‐growth dynamics

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/17506160910940731
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The main purpose of this research is to analyse the socio‐technical consequences deriving from the digitisation of crown prosecutors' work. Design/methodology/approach – This research is based on an in‐depth, qualitative case study of the use of technologies by crown prosecutors. It relies on observations, focus groups and semi‐structured interviews conducted in London and Humberside over a 15‐month time‐span. The overarching methodological approach interweaves the empirical data with the theory of information growth which postulates that information is a difference that makes a difference. Findings – The main finding is that the digitisation of prosecutors' work has produced an increasingly‐larger, interlocked domain of digital information by triggering the need for new data standards which, in turn, have created the need for new information‐handling capabilities, thus prompting a ubiquitous infrastructure of self‐propelling differences. Research limitations/implications – The information growth dynamics investigated have broader implications in relation to information privacy, security and data ownership that go beyond the scope of this research. Practical implications – It is suggested that rather than steering the information‐growth process, public sector managers should attempt to control the premises of such a process by setting out a structured information quality management procedure both for domain‐specific and generic data standards. Originality/value – It is argued that plans are makeshift accomplishments that are bound to succumb to the overarching process of information growing out of information. Once viewed from this vantage point, cross‐organisational governance structures are no longer the outcome of pre‐defined plans but rather the side effect of a self‐reinforcing process of information growth.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 20, 2009

Keywords: Digital storage; Governance; Communication technologies; Criminal justice; England; Wales

References