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The Emergence of Technology-based Service Systems: a Case study of a Telehealth Project in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Service Industry Management, ISSN 0956-4233, E-ISSN 0956-4223, Journal of service management, ISSN 1757-5818, Vol. 20, no 1, 98-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for studying the process of technology-based service system innovation from a broad perspective using an approach that elucidates the non-linear facets of this process. The framework draws on Lévy-Strauss's concept of bricolage, which implies that individuals' “making do with resources at hand,” as opposed to managerial visions, can trigger innovation. This concept is combined with the notion of technological drift and with a model of emergentism.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses case study data from the Swedish elderly homecare setting.

Findings – The findings illustrate how the emergence of technology-based care services can be triggered by an injection of energy in terms of a new technological resource being made available in an organization, proceeding as a continuous interaction between personnel repurposing and recombining resources at hand, positive and negative feedback dynamics, institutional regulations and culture-related stabilizing mechanisms.

Research limitations/implications – New services can arise as a result of a number of efforts and events that, in isolation, might appear insignificant. Taken together, and interacting with enabling and constraining forces that promote the emergence of certain new services and prevent others, such acts and events generate unpredictable outcomes. The result may be incremental but by no means trivial innovations.

Originality/value – The paper suggests an approach to innovation that complements conventional thinking in the new service development literature. The proposed framework can help to explain how and why certain new services emerge and why others do not in unexpected and unpredictable ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited , 2009. Vol. 20, no 1, 98-121 p.
Keyword [en]
Customer service management, Elder care, Service systems, Sweden, Technology led strategy
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24827DOI: 10.1108/09564230910936878ISI: 000267421800006OAI: diva2:198388
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7487Available from: 2008-05-06 Created: 2008-05-06 Last updated: 2011-03-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Technology as an extension of the human body: Exploring the potential role of technology in an elderly home care setting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technology as an extension of the human body: Exploring the potential role of technology in an elderly home care setting
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis explores the potential role and implications of technology in elderly care from the users’ perspective. This exploration is undertaken in terms of five empirical studies of a telehealth project and a meta-analysis of their contributions. An important insight emerging from this work is the need to rethink the human subject as a body, rather than as a mere mind using technology. The thesis draws on phenomenology to reconceptualize the user of technology, and on this basis, to theorize about the potential role and implications of technology in care. It concludes that, in combination with humans that integrate technology with their other sensory and emotional capacities, technology can produce affect. The findings indicate that technology can contribute to senior citizens feeling safe, cared for and thereby less isolated. The findings further demonstrate that, because of the perceptual capacity gained from technology, the care workers become aware of new health problems that urgently call for their sensory and emotional responsiveness.

On this ground, the thesis challenges the determinist view that technology threatens the essentially ‘human’ aspect; rather, it concludes that feeling and other bodily resources are fundamental in the use of technology. Indeed, technology activates such ‘human’ capabilities.

Hence, technology plays a role as a complement for rather than as a replacement of care workers. It increases their work burden by informing them about new needs. This may improve care quality but at an increased cost, which is relevant from a practical perspective. At a more general level, the thesis challenges the dualist legacies in mainstream management research that have sought to divorce mind form body, nature from culture and reason from emotion. It can therefore contribute to broader theoretical developments and fuel existing debates beyond the care setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Företagsekonomiska institutionen, 2008. 190 p.
care, telehealth, information technology, physicality, materiality, Merleau-Ponty, body, emotion, routines, variability, surveillance, privacy, service evaluation, service innovation, emergence, learning
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7487 (URN)978-91-7155-626-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-16, Philipssalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2008-05-06 Created: 2008-05-06Bibliographically approved

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