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Reward Systems in the Post Digitization era: Possible Benefits and Risks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 12, no 1, 51-58 p.
Keyword [en]
Reward systems, post digitization, information technology, health care
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108322OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108322DiVA: diva2:235365
Available from: 2009-09-15 Created: 2009-09-15 Last updated: 2010-06-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modern Perspectives on the Digital Economy: With Insights From the Health Care Sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modern Perspectives on the Digital Economy: With Insights From the Health Care Sector
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.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 145
IT, digitization, organization, organizational change, process, health care
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Studies
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108218 (URN)
Public defence
2009-10-07, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-09-09 Created: 2009-09-09 Last updated: 2009-09-16

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