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Technology Adoption as a Socio-Material Process: The Case of New Technology in Healthcare

conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 14:00 authored by Antonio Sanchez-Vazquez
The adoption of new technology in healthcare settings involves complex non-linear relationships between the different organisational groups and new and existing technologies. These relationships must be balanced and stabilised if the technology is to be successfully adopted and diffused into standard every-day working practice. Sociomateriality can provide a powerful lens through which to view these complex and dynamic relationships. Given the very limited success of ICT initiatives in the NHS to date, and considerable interest from policy makers promoting new ICT across the NHS, we believe novel approaches to technology adoption are warranted. A sociomaterial lens can highlight the important relationships between workers, the organisation and the technology being adopted in such a way as to highlight critical factors in success and failure. In particular, a socio-material approach highlights the inevitable tensions between the often competing social and technical elements comprising the organisation. In this research, data were collected from clinicians, NHS supports staff and senior managers via in-depth interviews, and extended periods of non-participant embedded observation. Our findings show how different views of the value and benefits of technology in relation to existing practices and worldviews, give rise to an uneven implementation that prevents technology achieving its full potential.


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48th British Sociological Association (BSA) Medical Sociology Conference

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48th British Sociological Association (BSA) Medical Sociology Conference


Aston University, Birmingham, UK

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ARCHIVED Lord Ashcroft International Business School (until September 2018)

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