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The collaborative work of hospital porters: accountability, visibility and configurations of work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we describe the collaborative work of hospital porters. The profession of hospital porter is understudied in sociology and in Computer Supported Cooperative Work, despite numerous studies of healthcare IT. We describe how a new IT system for hospital logistics provided porters with more influence on, and responsibility for their work; supported collaboration among porters, clinicians, and middle management; and effected a new ecology of visibility and accountability of porters’ work. We discuss how the new system simultaneously supported collaboration and generated representations and accounts of porters’ work. We discuss the configurability of porters’ work arrangement and argue for the importance of comparative studies, and further argue for moving beyond the dualisms of coordination and accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSCW '16 : Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Number of pages15
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year2016
ISBN (print)978-1-4503-3592-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 27 Feb 20162 Mar 2016


ConferenceThe 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
LandUnited States
BySan Francisco

    Research areas

  • Accountability, cooperative work , CSCW, Healthcare, hospital orderlies, hospital porters, hospital logistics, task management, (in)visibility

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