Willem Pieterson

Willem Pieterson

Expert on the intersection of data, technology and organizing to help organizations become more innovative and data-driven. I have been part of the Center since the start in 2009 and currently act as deputy director. My (eGovernment) research focuses on a number of interrelated areas:

  • Service strategy and multi-channel management.
    Providing the best possible services to different client groups using the right combination of communication channels is a taunting task. Different types of clients have different channel preferences, channels have different characteristics rendering them suitable for specific types of services and people’ s channel behaviour is often not dictated by rational choices but driven by emotions and specific situational constraints. Add to this the fact that deploying channels is expensive and public sector agencies must also satisfy organisational goals of efficiency and effectiveness and you end up with very complicated challenges for governmental agencies. I study citizens’ channel behaviors and preferences and advice governmental agencies on their channel strategies.
  • Organisational aspects of service delivery.
    Improving service delivery is not just a matter of deploying a set of service channels. Often the biggest challenges lie in the back office. For example in terms of connecting (information) databases, ensuring a smooth customer journey across different parts of the organisation, and blending channels across organisational silos. In my research I focus on collaboration, organisational design and change, often using research methods such as social network analysis.
  • Service innovation
    The service landscape is not static, but constantly evolving. New channels, such as social robots, are arriving and (artificial) intelligence and advanced analytics play an increasingly important role in the front and back-office of service delivery. In my research I try to understand the implication of new technologies and the interaction between societal and technological change.

I graduated in 2009 on a dissertation about Multi-Channel Management and worked as an assistant professor at the University of Twente between 2009 and 2011. I started working in 2011 for the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) and helped co-found a software, research and consulting company (Syndio). Since 2018 I live and work from my home base London, UK.


Besides my work for the Center for eGovernment Studies, I work as an independent researcher/consultant. I (have) work(ed) for a large number of governments, NGOs, other public sector agencies and several private organisations. I write a blog for iBestuur  and you’ll often find me give talks at various events and conferences.