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Aleksandra Jancikova

DBA Graduate - 2016

Thesis title



Jerome Barrand
Purpose – The goal of this research is to investigate multilevel governance (MLG) theory across three organizational levels of government in Serbia using the theory of agility architecture. MLG is a new model of governing the state across organizations at the supranational, national and subnational levels. This model was conceptualized in the early 1990s by Hooghe and Marks and it was a result of the study of the new structures implemented by the European Union in 1992 (Piattoni, Simona, 2009). Nevertheless, the operationalization of MLG model is underinvestigated since it has evolved beyond the theory of structural design and the principles of political governance. Hence, the integrated view of agile enterprise conception was deployed to address a complex organizational environment through three main aspects of agility: agility drivers, capabilities, and providers at multi-dimensional levels in the government of Serbia. The Government of Serbia is chosen as a case study in this research due to the researcher’s accessibility to information and the current status of the EU “candidate state” providing an opportunity for in-depth investigation of the newly implemented multilevel governance system. Design/Methodology – A single exploratory case study methodology is used to explore this phenomenon and answers the questions of what patterns of agility emerge from the current multilevel design and structure and what factors aid or limit the adoption of agility factors across multiple levels in the government of the Republic of Serbia. This is also a cross-sectional study looking at how the factors of agility are related at different governmental levels in Serbia at a given time. For this purpose, multiple sources of evidence were used, such as 26 structured interviews, 94 documentation sources, four direct observations, and over 50 archival records. Data triangulation was established, and through coding and analyzing the interviews, convergent evidence was formed to ensure the construct validity of the case study in the Republic of Serbia (Yin, 2014).Findings – The findings reveal relationships between agility capability factors that influence the degree of autonomy at different governmental levels, and competencies and technology being determinant for a multilevel governance system. At the same time, a decentralized multilevel governance system provides conditions for the enhancement of agility drivers at local and state levels. Practical Implications – The practical implications of this research should prove to be directly useful to government officials, various governmental agencies at different levels, and international organizations such as European Union institutions and United Nations agencies that deal with developments of governmental policies, processes and managerial practices. Indirect implications are also foreseen for large and complex multinational companies that face operational challenges in multi-country operations. In this case, the strong applicability of the relationship between the agility factors and structural challenges poses the opportunity for developing a new concept for organizational efficiency across multiple levels.Originality/Values – These findings bring novelty to existing integrated research with “knowledge recombination” from two different disciplines and offer insights for innovative organizational practices in governments through a new Agility Multilevel Governance Process Model for adaptable and flexible coordination of capabilities at the supranational, national and subnational levels. This thesis contributes to the developing body of knowledge in the combined domains of MLG and agility architecture by applying both to the complex environment of governmental multi-structures. Keywords – Agility architecture, agility drivers, agility providers, agility capabilities, multilevel governance, Republic of Serbia.