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The promise of algorithms is a more effective public sector based on innovative analyses of information. This promise has been echoed in sectors as diverse as transportation, criminal justice, policing, education and healthcare and Danaher and colleagues (2017, 1) even refer to the present time as “an algorithmic age”. […] Algorithms are admired and mystified but from a more sober perspective, they are basically encoded procedures for performing a task (Cormen 2013; Gillespie 2014). What makes new technologies so intriguing, is that they have the ability to rearrange social practices (Barley 1990; Orlikowski and Scott 2008).

Algoritmid ja organisatsioon:

we argue that an understanding of the relation between algorithm and organizational context is needed to comprehend how the algorithm is actually used and why algorithms have certain effects in specific contexts. There is a need to understand the relation between the use of algorithms and the basic structure of government organizations: the bureaucracy (Wilson 1989).


how do bureaucratic organizations rearrange their working routines around the use of algorithms?

Predictive policing ja algoritmid:

Predictive policing promises to boost the effectiveness and legitimacy of the police through the ostensible control of crime (Bennet Moses & Chan, 2016; Meijer & Wessels, 2019). The combination of advanced algorithms, highly formalized organizations and a pressure to enhance effectiveness and legitimacy of policing make this practice a highly informative case for understanding the algorithmization of bureaucratic organizations.

Mis on algoritm?

In general, algorithms are encoded procedures for performing a task by turning input data into output based on specified calculations (Cormen 2013). More practically, one could say that an algorithms converts data into information to make decisions and to guide practices (Alavi and Leidner 2001).

Elu algoritmide järgi (organisatsioonis):

We define algorithmization as “a process in which an organization rearranges its working routines around the use of algorithms for its actions and decisions”. This definition stresses the focus on ‘working routines’ rather than putting the technological artifact center stage and highlights the implications for ‘organizational actions and decisions’.

Mõned järeldused:

In Berlin, the integration of the algorithmic system in work processes was enforced through hierarchy and procedures […] In Amsterdam, the information specialists had considerable discretion in using the system and combining it with their own knowledge. The system was largely an instrument for further professionalizing the position of the information specialist in the police organization. […] In line with other comparative research into the relationship between administrative culture and technology (Zhang & Feeney, 2020), our comparative research suggests that the emerging types of algorithmization are linked to different administrative cultures. […] The study highlights that at least two different emerging patterns can be identified – the algorithmic cage and the algorithmic colleague – and that these emerging patterns depend on the social norms and interpretations that are connected to the facilities of algorithmic systems.

Meijer, A., Lorenz, L., & Wessels, M. (2021) Algorithmization of Bureaucratic Organizations: Using a Practice Lens to Study How Context Shapes Predictive Policing Systems. Public Administration Review.