Sensemaking and overviews through workarounds in a digitized ward

Kathrine Rayce, Finn Olesen

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We investigated work and workarounds related to the development and implementation of multiple digital technologies in a clinical ward, simultaneously; how technologies become part of the health professionals’ endeavor to co-produce meaningful overviews in daily practices. We looked to symbolic interactionism for relevant terminology. Our ethnographic approach enabled us to show that new technologies meant new types of work for the health professionals. Technologies were mangled and reinterpreted in practical work-settings before they got stable meanings and useful roles within specific social groups of health professionals. Meanings and uses were not settled until health professionals belonging to various social worlds were able to find use for them through visible and invisible work practices. Workarounds are also part of visible and invisible work and context dependent. They can put work back on track, but it takes efforts and acceptance as workarounds go around established procedures. Overviews are context-dependent and in particular cases evolve bottom-up, depending on local interpretations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Publication statusSubmitted - Mar 2023

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