Measures for assessing the readiness of back-office staff
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Purpose—Public organizations deploy state-of-the-art technological advancements to facilitate sophisticated services to the citizens, businesses, and employees. The maturity of backoffice staff to adapt, use, and utilize these technological changes at the organizational level is a prerequisite to introduce cutting-edge services. This paper investigates the maturity of backoffice staff and proposes a conceptual framework, measurement constructs, and subsequent measures for the assessment. Methodology/Design/Research—Design methodology focuses on combining research with practice. An initial framework and measurement constructs are developed based on the literature review, which are further investigated by conducting a case study at Inland Revenue, Karachi to test the usability in practice using the directive content analysis qualitative method. Findings—the outcome of measurement reveals that though the proposed framework and measurement constructs i.e. roles; responsibilities; trainings; capacity building; capabilities; and attitude are relevant and useful to assess the back-office staff readiness, the measures to assess the constructs may vary in practice depending on the size, scope, and type of the public. Research limitations/implications—although the proposed measurement constructs and measures proved to be useful for assessing the back-office staff maturity, the relationships among different measures and constructs affecting the staff readiness require further research. Practical implications—the case study was conducted at single public organization, which will be extended to multiple public organizations in practice. The extension will not to allow effective testing of the usability of the proposed conceptual framework and constructs, but will also broaden the benchmarking scope. Originality/Value—back-office staff education is discussed and described in the literature as well practice, but there is hardly any existing framework for the assessment and benchmarking of staff maturity. Often viewed in isolation, the practitioners hardly realize the long term intangible objectives to understand how research (literature) can help improve the maturity. Similarly, the academics also describe staff education at generic level, which may or may not be applicable to the different types of organizations. Therefore, we propose a conceptual measurement framework with constructs and subsequent measures and show that combining the research (literature) and practice (Inland Revenue, Karachi) provides deeper insights.
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