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table 9.1
types of Discretions at Various organizational Levels
To Facilitate Own/Autonomous
(Self-) Interest
To Support Joint or
External Interests
Strategic discretions
Autonomous strategic
Joint strategic
Alignment discretions
Autonomous alignment
Joint alignment
Autonomous operational
Joint operational
9.5 How Discretions Are Visible
The conceptual section identified six types of discretions: (autonomous/joint)
strategic discretions, (autonomous/joint) alignment discretions, and (autono-
mous/joint) operational discretions. The next step is how to find and explain
these discretions empirically. A case study methodology is appropriate to do so
(Benbasat, Goldstein, & Mead, 1987; Yin, 1994). “Multiple-case designs are
desirable when the intent of the research is description, theory building, or theory
testing… Multiple-case designs allow for cross-case analysis and the extension of
theory. Of course, multiple cases yield more general research results” (Benbasat
et al., 1987). The first step in selecting cases is to choose cases that are likely to
exhibit different kinds of discretions yet in a similar field of ICT with similar
ICT professional values. Hence, the domain of geoICT was chosen. Typical of
the geoICT domain is furthermore that many cases of shared geoICT applica-
tions are on strongly coordinated by laws, rules, and resources, yet a variety of
professional discretions occur in relation to the different types of coordination
activities. In addition, it was assumed that cases that involve multiple partners or
complex cooperative arrangements would exhibit different kinds of discretions.
Given that the origin of discretion types and significance may lie in the difference
in how the projects are coordinated, four comparative cases were chosen to reflect
these coordination differences. Hence, cases were chosen that were different in
the number of partners involved, had different coordination agreements, and had
different types of geoICT to manage. All of these cases were in the Netherlands
to ensure a similar institutional background in which the geoICT professionals
were operating.
1. Cadastre-municipalities (Cadastral geoG2G): Two types of organizations
are involved: the national agency Kadaster and 443 municipalities (in 2010).
Both types of organizations have to adhere to a national geoICT coordina-
tion strategy guiding the implementation of authentic registers of addresses
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