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Intelligent Public Organisations


  • Jari Stenvall

    () (University of Tampere)

  • Petri Virtanen

    () (University of Tampere)


The article explores the nature of the intelligence and organisational learning of public sector organisations with regard to both individual organisations and multiple organisational ecosystems. The main ideas behind modern systems theory (MST) and the logic developed by the MST theorists in the domain of organisational intelligence are pinpointed in the paper. The article presupposes that the basic structure of the organisational features of intelligence consists of leadership, strategy and foresight, people, partnerships and resources, and organisational processes, and the intelligence builds on these features. The article concludes with an explicit definition of the organisational activities that generate organisational intelligence, putting forward best practice examples with regard to these activities while also presenting scientific evidence to back up these claims.

Suggested Citation

  • Jari Stenvall & Petri Virtanen, 2017. "Intelligent Public Organisations," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 195-209, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:porgrv:v:17:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11115-015-0331-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11115-015-0331-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Senge, Peter M. & Sterman, John D., 1992. "Systems thinking and organizational learning: Acting locally and thinking globally in the organization of the future," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 137-150, May.
    2. Philip Anderson, 1999. "Perspective: Complexity Theory and Organization Science," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(3), pages 216-232, June.
    3. Victor Pestoff, 2006. "Citizens and co-production of welfare services," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 503-519, December.
    4. Vargo, Stephen L. & Maglio, Paul P. & Akaka, Melissa Archpru, 2008. "On value and value co-creation: A service systems and service logic perspective," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 145-152, June.
    5. Carsten Greve, 2015. "Ideas in Public Management Reform for the 2010s. Digitalization, Value Creation and Involvement," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 49-65, March.
    6. Karl E. Weick & Kathleen M. Sutcliffe & David Obstfeld, 2005. "Organizing and the Process of Sensemaking," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(4), pages 409-421, August.
    7. Pollitt, Christopher & Bouckaert, Geert, 2004. "Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199268498.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanna Godlewska-Majkowska & Agnieszka Komor, 2019. "Intelligent Organization in a Local Administrative Unit: From Theoretical Design to Reality," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 290-307.
    2. Steve J. Bickley & Benno Torgler, 2020. "A Systematic Approach to Safety Incidents in Public Health – Applying the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System to COVID-19," CREMA Working Paper Series 2020-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).


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