The purpose of this paper is to further adaptive structuration theory (AST) by associating technological appropriations with health information technology workarounds. The author argues that appropriating electronic health record (EHR) technology ironically – in a way other than it is designed to be used – and divergently across an organization results in enhanced perceptions of EHR technology and its implementation.
Data were collected from 345 healthcare employees in a single healthcare organization that was switching to EHRs from paper records. Two major constructs of AST – unfaithfulness and dissension in appropriation – were operationalized and analyzed using multivariate regressions to test the relationship between the type of appropriation and perceptions of EHR technology’s relative advantage and implementation success.
Results reveal that both ironic (unfaithful) technological appropriation and dissension in technological appropriation across the organization predicted employees’ perceptions of EHR’s relative advantage and perceptions of EHR implementation success. Furthermore, physicians are the least likely to perceive EHR’s relative advantage or EHR implementation success. These results exemplify that EHR workarounds are taking place and reaffirm AST’s principle that employees evolve technology to better suit their working environments and preferences.
The survey and scales used in this study further demonstrate that there are meaningful statistical measures to accompany the qualitative methods frequently used in the AST literature. In addition, this paper expands AST research by exploring the positive outcomes that follow ironic and divergent technology appropriations.
Barrett, A. (2018), "Technological appropriations as workarounds: Integrating electronic health records and adaptive structuration theory research", Information Technology & People, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 368-387. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2016-0023Download as .RIS
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