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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Outi Tuisku, Satu Pekkarinen, Lea Hennala and Helinä Melkas

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the publicity around the implementation of the Zora robot in elderly-care services in Lahti, Finland. The aim is to discover…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the publicity around the implementation of the Zora robot in elderly-care services in Lahti, Finland. The aim is to discover opinions concerning the use of robots in elderly care as well as the arguments and justifications behind those opinions. Zora is a humanoid robot intended to promote mobility and rehabilitation. The Lahti pilot was the first Zora pilot in Finland in public elderly-care services. It received much publicity, both regionally and nationally.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on an empirical case study on the implementation of the Zora robot in elderly-care services. The data consist of interviews with personnel who operated Zora and comments from the general public about the “Zora” robot. Two data sources were used: 107 comments were collected from online and print media, and the personnel (n=39) who worked with Zora were interviewed. The data were analysed by means of interpretative content analysis.

Findings

The results show that public opinion is mainly negative, but that the commentators apparently have little information about the robot and its tasks. The personnel had more positive views; they saw it as a recreational tool, not as a replacement for their own roles.

Originality/value

There is clearly a need for more information, for a better informed discussion on how robots can be used in elderly care and how to involve the general public in this discussion in a constructive way.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Satu Pekkarinen, Lea Hennala, Vesa Harmaakorpi and Tomi Tura

The purpose of this study is to examine the ongoing dynamics of the public service sector reform through an embedding process of a municipal enterprise from the field of…

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2460

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the ongoing dynamics of the public service sector reform through an embedding process of a municipal enterprise from the field of basic social and health care services – a pilot model in Finland.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework of a multi‐level perspective on transitions is used to describe the change process. At the lowest level of this perspective are the experimental niches acting as “seeds of change” represented by the case organisation, a municipal enterprise operating in the basic social and health care sector. The data consist of 16 thematic interviews with the key persons of the operating system, analysed with the principles of content analysis.

Findings

The examination uncovers diverse pressures affecting niche level innovations and manifesting as clashes and controversies between old and new ways of thinking, but these clashes can also act as a platform for innovations when opened up, analysed and facilitated.

Practical implications

Clashes that appear in societal transition processes and regime changes, both in the regimes and also on the organisational level, should not be seen solely as bottlenecks, because they can act as innovation potential when opened up and facilitated. This implies the need for not only new technological, service‐related and organisational innovations in the public sector reform, but also innovative practices, “second level innovations”.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the discussion on the ongoing change processes in the reform of the social and health care sector, emphasising emerging clashes not only as obstacles but opportunities.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Lea Hennala, Satu Parjanen and Tuomo Uotila

Studies with a user approach in a public service context are still rare, making the contribution of this study worthwhile. This paper aims to present a case of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Studies with a user approach in a public service context are still rare, making the contribution of this study worthwhile. This paper aims to present a case of facilitating innovativeness by involving stakeholder groups in the development of service production in the public sector. The case is related to the provision of housing and well‐being services to ageing people. The study proposes focusing on the front‐end stage of an innovation process: the ideation phase in a virtual idea generation environment, in which fruitful and fresh ideas that are based on customers' needs are sought for in order to support the innovation process.

Design/methodology/approach

A constructive research approach is applied in this study. Central theoretical building blocks are provided by the extended SECI model as presented by Uotila, Melkas and Harmaakorpi, Amabile's componential theory of creativity and Burt's and Granovetter's arguments regarding structural holes and weak ties.

Findings

Based on the evaluation, it can be argued that the open innovation model and particularly the inclusion of external information and knowledge from potential service users generated, despite some shortcomings, new insights and added to the value of the development process.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a model that can be utilized in facilitating the novelty value of presented ideas in the front end of the innovation process and also critically discusses the challenges of the applied model, especially from the point of view of the brokering function needed during the process.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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