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Title: How do sociomaterial networks involving large-scale automation come into being, persist and change over time, within a healthcare environment?
Author: Shaw, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 6417
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2014
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The aim of this thesis is to develop a theoretical model to explore how sociomaterial networks, involving large-scale automation, come into being, persist and change over time, within a healthcare environment. It does so by bridging the gap between design, implementation and use of large-scale pathology automation (LSPA) within two United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service (NHS) laboratories. A longitudinal, multi-site, ethnographic approach was used, along with semi-structured interviews, template analysis and participant observation of LSPA ‘in-practice’. This research has suggested that design features, embedded within the material properties of LSPA, were purposefully intended to bring about organisational change. In both user organisations, the material affordances of LSPA resulted in anticipated skill mix changes. However, material constraints required the enforcement of changes to organisational routines, creating operational difficulties, which were then subsequently transferred across organisational boundaries by the researcher/manager. The identification of these sociomaterial affordances and constraints, in conjunction with humans acting as boundary objects, had the unintended consequence of influencing strategic decision making and initiating structural and cultural change. The development and practical application of the resulting SociomANTerial model allowed the researcher to trace the analytical history of these organisational changes over time and consider the impact of broader social structures such as power. Ultimately it is suggested that a greater emphasis on collaboration between users, designers and corporate agents will result in more innovative approaches for technology adoption and improved organisational design.
Supervisor: Wainwright, David; Waring, Teresa Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B800 Medical Technology ; B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine ; G500 Information Systems