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Modern Perspectives on the Digital Economy: With Insights From the Health Care Sector
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last decades, extensive investments in IT have been made more or less within the majority of the existing industries. This development presents both opportunities and risks with regard to organization and change. The main purpose of this thesis is to investigate these new conditions spawned by digitization, and to examine why many of the anticipated benefits have failed to come about. This is done through historical and contemporary studies – together with informed speculations about the future – with health care as the empirical setting.

The research presented here consists of four articles and a revised licentiate thesis. The findings from the studies suggest that despite both academic and practical calls for research that simultaneously considers IT, digitization, organization and organizational change – there is still a lack of such efforts. Furthermore, the results indicate that IT has to be contextualized and broken down into sub-types, a taxonomy or typology, depending on the specific situation. Also, the present stage of digitization determines the conditions for utilization of IT. This also has to be considered. Another conclusion is that digitization, in fact, has lead to increases in productivity. But traditional financial measures are not always suitable for measuring the impact of IT on productivity. The first steps towards being able to really measure the effects from IT and digitization are to establish common standards and nomenclatures in organizations, and to consolidate existing IT systems so that they generate compatible and informative data and information. By doing this organizations are also better suited to define, visualize, measure and evaluate important processes. In turn, they can start becoming truly process oriented.

The thesis presents some possible modern implications from IT and digitization as well. For instance, simulation and digital reward systems can be fruitful management tools. They do however demand a compatible and well thought through IT infrastructure and that the generated data and information is aligned with the overall strategies and visions. The empirical component of this research is based on the health care sector in Sweden, which is one area. However, it is argued that the findings are relevant to other industries as well. This because most large and complex organizations that deal with IT and change run into the problems and opportunities discussed in the presented studies. If we really come to understand how IT-implementations affect organization and change – and vice versa – huge benefits can be realized. The treatment of patients and the situation for medical staff can be improved. Also, the national economy can be boosted due to various export advantages and better public health. Similar benefits can also be achieved in other types of organizations. Through its holistic and pluralistic approach regarding research and methodology, together with the rich empirical descriptions, the thesis presents original and valuable insights for both academics and practitioners. It primarily puts forth investigations of the implications of the reciprocal relationship between IT and digitization on the one hand, and organization and organizational change on the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Business Studies , 2009. , 111 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 145
Keyword [en]
IT, digitization, organization, organizational change, process, health care
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108218OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108218DiVA: diva2:234579
Public defence
2009-10-07, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-09-09 Created: 2009-09-09 Last updated: 2009-09-16
List of papers
1. Bibliometric Study of Academic Interaction: IT, Organization, and Change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bibliometric Study of Academic Interaction: IT, Organization, and Change
2009 (English)In: AMCIS 2009 Proceedings, AMCIS (Americas Conference on Information Systems) , 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the degree and nature of the research interaction between the academic fields of Information Technology, Organization, and Organizational Change. This is done so as to see if, and how, the highly digitized modern business world is reflected in related research. The paper analyses 9.669 articles published in 1995-2006 that are derived from major journals within each field. Then the articles are reviewed through the use of the bibliometric methods: frequency, cross-reference, co-citation, shared references, and network analyses. The findings detect a dearth of consistent research interaction between the fields of Information Technology, Organization, and Organizational Change. This fact is critiqued on the basis of previous practical and academic calls for interactional research. The paper provides important insights about the degree and nature of the research interaction and, in addition, recommendations and guidelines for future cross-fertilization between the academic fields are provided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMCIS (Americas Conference on Information Systems), 2009
Keyword
Information technology, organization, organizational change, research, interaction, bibliometrics
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107420 (URN)9781615675814 (ISBN)
Conference
Americas conference on information systems (15th : 2009 Aug : San Francisco, CA)
Note
http://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2009/383/Available from: 2009-08-11 Created: 2009-08-11 Last updated: 2010-06-09Bibliographically approved
2. The Emergent View of IT and Organizational Change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Emergent View of IT and Organizational Change
2009 (English)In: 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS),San Francisco, California, US, 2009, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the modern business world, it is impossible to distinguish between technologyand organization. All activities are somehow supported by technology and thenature and structure of organizations influence the technological development.For that reason, it is crucial to recognize the reciprocal relationship betweentechnology and organization, and acknowledge the phenomena as highlyintertwined. This is the case in practice but it should also be reflected in associatedresearch. In this paper, a bibliometric approach serves as the foundation for astudy of whether a dynamic view of technology and organization is representedin affiliated scientific writings the last decade. More specifically, research inconnection to information technology and organizational change is considered.The results from the investigation paint a scattered picture lacking clearindications of a tendency suggesting a move from a deterministic, and towardsan emergent scientific view of these concepts.

Keyword
Organizational change, information technology, emergent view, research fields, bibliometrics
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108321 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-15 Created: 2009-09-15 Last updated: 2010-02-26Bibliographically approved
3. A Modern Process Perspective, Process Mapping, and Simulation in Health Care: Opportunities and IT Infrastructural Needs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Modern Process Perspective, Process Mapping, and Simulation in Health Care: Opportunities and IT Infrastructural Needs
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many of the anticipated benefits from IT investments in health care have still not materialized. This is certainly true in many industries and organizations, and the reasons behind this development are many. However, health care is somewhat special in the sense that most health care organizations are still functional organizations, instead of focusing on patient value through the entire care process. This, together with questionable IT handling, might begin to explain why possible IT benefits in health care, still, are elusive. Furthermore, today, health care professionals and managers – especially on top managementl evels – often claim that their organizations in fact are “process oriented”, and that one should approach health care from a process perspective in order to utilize the present IT related benefits; such as increased service quality, cost efficiency, and enhanced communication. In this paper we investigate how well founded the concept of process orientation really is – by examining IT/IS infrastructures, and procedures for process definition, visualization, andevaluation – at a prominent hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. A case study ofthe organization and interaction of the emergency and radiology departments at the same hospital (using process mapping and data analysis) reveals data fragmentation, incompatible data, and disparate information systems. Resulting in difficulties regarding process definition and analysis. This, in turn, makes the use of innovative IT-based tools such as simulation, problematic. The implications of this, and the contextual factors, are also discussed and some final recommendations for smooth digitization are put forth.

Keyword
IT, digitization, process mapping, process orientation, data analysis, discrete event simulation (DES), health care
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108323 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-15 Created: 2009-09-15 Last updated: 2009-12-02Bibliographically approved
4. Reward Systems in the Post Digitization era: Possible Benefits and Risks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reward Systems in the Post Digitization era: Possible Benefits and Risks
2009 (English)In: Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation, ISSN 1566-6379, Vol. 12, no 1, 51-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The last decades have been characterized by extremely intense digitization. Large companies and organizations worldwide have made significant investments in administrative and embedded IT together with advanced Internet solutions. Today, however, most establishments are already highly digitized, which affects the conditions for work and organizations’ forms and functions. Thus, based on an empirical investigation of the health care sector, this paper addresses the notion of the post digitization era through specifically examining IT-based reward systems. This, of course, is not a novel phenomenon – but new ways of using the reward system concept, together with IT and original ideas, in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity, are considered. This, in turn, might have great implications concerning core strategies and the organization of work. In order to fulfill the paper’s purpose of identifying possible benefits and risks associated with digital reward systems – especially in health care – a case study built on semi-structured interviews was performed. The findings of this study indicate that there are several possible fields of innovative application – including both developments of existing solutions and potential future utilizations – with regard to digital reward systems in health care. Moreover, in order for reward system implementations to be successful – organizations have to define, measure, valuate and evaluate input/outputand performance appropriately. The process of doing so is also affected by the present stage of digitization. This too is contemplated throughout the paper. Finally, important associated matters such as risk-reward trade-offs and quantity versus quality are discussed. The results presented in this paper are based on a limited material. Still, they are valuable and original because of the empirical foundation derived from an important industry/sector. Furthermore, they illustrate modern implications of reward systems in highly digitized contexts and put forth novel views on possible fields of application of IT-based reward systems, with associated potential benefits and risks.

Keyword
Reward systems, post digitization, information technology, health care
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108322 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-15 Created: 2009-09-15 Last updated: 2010-06-21Bibliographically approved

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