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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2011

Kelly Joyce

This chapter presents a sociological analysis of the work involved in producing neuroimaging scans used in clinical practice. Drawing on fieldwork in magnetic resonance…

Abstract

This chapter presents a sociological analysis of the work involved in producing neuroimaging scans used in clinical practice. Drawing on fieldwork in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units in hospitals and free-standing imaging centers; in-depth interviews with technologists, radiologists, and neurologists; and reviews of relevant medical literatures, this analysis demonstrates how assembly line techniques structure neuroimaging work. Neuroimages (after being ordered by the referring clinician) are created in an image production line where scans of brains, breasts, livers, and other body parts are all produced: although some facilities may focus on one area of the body, most create an array of scans. Following MRI scans as they are produced demonstrates how medical work emphasizes repetition, specialization, and efficiency – key features of mass production. On the medical assembly line, the organization of work aims to transform patients into objects – ones that multiply as scans are created and circulated. Neurologists, radiologists, and technologists are positioned as skilled workers who manage the flow of bodies and the production of knowledge with the aim of producing health or, at the very least, knowledge of illness. Patients are also actors who actively impact the imaging production process. Previous scholarship has shown that diagnostic work involves a distributed form of expertise; one that involves patients, other medical professionals, machines, and neurologists. This chapter demonstrates that the deployment and synchronization of this expertise is a form of labor, involving distinct professions, professional hierarchies, and reimbursement systems. Working conditions are central to the production of MRI scans as knowledge and contribute to the social shaping of neuroimaging techniques.

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Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-881-6

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2020

Cheryl M. Patton

The purpose of this study is to describe and interpret the interpersonal and intragroup conflict experiences of staff-level employees and leaders in the medical imaging…

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1093

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe and interpret the interpersonal and intragroup conflict experiences of staff-level employees and leaders in the medical imaging technology field, working in US tertiary care centers to extract mitigation and management strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 13 medical imaging technologists, who were employed in leadership and staff positions throughout the USA, offered their in-depth accounts of workplace conflict in this interpretive phenomenological investigation.

Findings

Conflict avoidance was a predominant conflict management style. This style did little to effectively manage workplace conflict. In some cases, it led to deleterious effects on individuals and organizations and created conflict perpetuation. With proper conflict mitigation and management, the conflict perpetuation cycle can be broken.

Research limitations/implications

Generalization beyond the group being studied is not applicable, as it is not the intent of phenomenological research. Four leaders participated in the research study. To examine this population more completely, a greater sample size is required. This recommendation also applies to the staff technologist roles. Another limitation involved the leader/staff-level representation inequality, as well as the male–female representation. These imbalances made it difficult to effectively make comparisons of the experiences of leaders with staff-level technologists, and males with females.

Practical implications

Offering the medical imaging workforce emotional intelligence training, health-care administrators can invest in their leaders and staff technologists. Medical imaging schools can incorporate emotional intelligence training into their curricula. Clear policies may decrease the ill effects of change when unforeseeable occurrences result in schedule modifications. Making technologists fully aware of who is responsible for shift coverage when these events occur may reduce negative impact. Trainings in organizational change, collaboration or positivity may be warranted, depending on findings of cultural assessments. Team-building events and opportunities for employees to intermingle may also be used to improve a departmental or organizational culture.

Social implications

Mitigating and managing health-care workplace conflict more effectively may prevent patient harm, thus improving the health of members of society.

Originality/value

According to recent studies, conflict, and the incivility that often accompanies it, has been on the increase in US organizations overall, and in health care specifically. Conflict that perpetuates can adversely affect health-care organizations and its employees. This paper offers mitigation and management strategies to prevent such consequences.

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Simon Shurville, Tom Browne and Marian Whitaker

Educational technologists make significant contributions to the development, organisational embedding and service provision of technology‐enhanced learning (TEL…

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3423

Abstract

Purpose

Educational technologists make significant contributions to the development, organisational embedding and service provision of technology‐enhanced learning (TEL) environments, which are key enablers for mass access to flexible higher education (HE). Given the increasing centrality of this role, it is advocated that institutions investigate sustainable career structures for educational technologists. This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The arguments are evidence‐driven by the small body of research literature describing the role of educational technologists and contextualized by the experiences as academics and leaders of TEL projects in HE, including managing educational technologists.

Findings

The roles of educational technologists are very diverse, requiring competencies in educational leadership, both management and technical. Their career paths, backgrounds, legitimate powers and organisational locations exhibit considerable variation.

Research limitations/implications

University leaders require evidence to formulate appropriate human resource strategies and performance management strategies for educational technologists. Further empirical research to analyze current issues and future trajectories relating to their aspirations, career structures, legitimate power, management and organisational contexts is proposed.

Originality/value

Given the strategic importance of educational technologists to information and communications technology‐driven transformation, university leaders will require evidence to formulate appropriate human resource and performance management strategies for these key academic‐related/professional staff. This paper brings together relevant literature for the first time, generates recommendations for further research and policy discussion.

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Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1987

M. Ryan

One reason for the poor performance of UK industry in the management of technology is the rift between corporate decision‐making and technology as a discipline, creating a…

Abstract

One reason for the poor performance of UK industry in the management of technology is the rift between corporate decision‐making and technology as a discipline, creating a barrier to the influence of technologists on policy making. This paper presents evidence from recent secondary sources, which indicates the weak position of technologists by comparison with other specialists in organisational hierarchies. Reasons for this relative lack of organisational power can be found both in the aspirations and attitudes of technologists and in culturally‐induced organisational structures, which act to severely limit the participation of technologists in decision‐making at the highest levels. Some cross‐national comparisons are referred to. Suggestions are made for ways in which a more even balance between disciplines within UK companies might be achieved.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2021

Aaditeshwar Seth

The purpose of this paper is to encourage technologists, those who design and manage technology systems, to collectivize and get closely involved in defining the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to encourage technologists, those who design and manage technology systems, to collectivize and get closely involved in defining the priorities of their organizations, their countries, and the world, so that responsible outcomes can arise from their labour.

Design/methodology/approach

The author examines this problem from three viewpoints: From a design perspective about what is missing in most design practices to build information systems that undesirable outcomes still happen; from an ethics perspective about how to incorporate values in building and managing information systems; and from a political economy perspective about why ensuring responsible outcomes from technology is not easy. The author describes several limitations faced by technologists in achieving this, ranging from gaps in the design methods in use currently, a piecemeal approach to following ethical principles in the design and management of technologies, influence of the organizational culture and structure and the wider political economy of technology itself.

Findings

The author suggests several measures to address these challenges and conclude with a call to technologists to collectivize and engage politically to influence their organizations and governments to invest in meaningful objectives for a just and equitable world, and design and manage the solutions in ethically consistent ways.

Research limitations/implications

It is argued that a new paradigm of information systems is needed for digital platforms, which is grounded in ethics-based guidelines that should be followed by the designers and managers of these platforms to help ensure responsible outcomes.

Practical implications

Having such a paradigm is especially important in today’s winner-takes-all digital platform era because these platforms are governed by only a few people; therefore, it is imperative to build guardrails to responsibly manage these platforms, and to have technologists who design and manage these platforms to play a role in their governance.

Social implications

Information systems have the potential to alter power relationships in society, and it is suggested that they should be designed to empower the weak.

Originality/value

To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is a unique perspective that draws from his personal experience as a researcher and practitioner designing technologies for social good, and examines the problem from many different viewpoints.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Cameron K. Tuai

Purpose – The integration of librarians and technologists to deliver information services represents a new and costly organizational challenge for many library…

Abstract

Purpose – The integration of librarians and technologists to deliver information services represents a new and costly organizational challenge for many library administrators. To understand how to control the costs of integration, this study uses structural contingency theory to study the coordination of librarians and technologists within the information commons.

Design/methodology/approach – This study tests the structural contingency theory expectation that an organization will achieve higher levels of performance when there is a positive relationship between the degree of workflow interdependence and the complexity of coordinative structures necessary to integrate these workflows. This expectation was tested by (a) identifying and collecting a sample of information common; (b) developing and validating survey instruments to test the proposition; and (c) quantitatively analyzing the data to test the proposed contingency theory relationship.

Findings – The contingency theory expectations were confirmed by finding both a positive relationship between coordination and interdependence and a positive relationship between perceptions of performance and degree of congruency between interdependence and coordination.

Limitations – The findings of this study are limited to both the context of an information common and the structures tested. Future research should seek to both broaden the context in which these findings are applicable, and test additional structural relationships as proposed by contingency theory

Practical implications – This study contributes to the library profession in a number of ways. First, it suggests that managers can improve IC performance by matching coordination structures to the degree of interdependence. For instance, when librarians and technologists are strictly co-located, managers should coordinate workflows using less resource-intensive policies rather than meetings. Second, the instruments developed in this study will improve the library manager's ability to measure and report unit interdependence and coordination in a valid and reliable manner. Lastly, it also contributes to the study of structural contingency theory by presenting one of the first empirical confirmations of a positive relationship between interdependence and coordination.

Originality/value – This study represents one of the first empirical confirmations of the structural contingency theory expectations of both a positive relationship between workflow interdependence and coordination, and a positive relationship between performance and coordination's fit to workflow interdependence. These findings are of value to both organizational theorists and to administrators of information commons.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-313-1

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Cagri Topal

The purpose of this paper is to answer the question of how continuity and change coexist in the work of institutional actors who can combine maintenance, disruption and/or…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer the question of how continuity and change coexist in the work of institutional actors who can combine maintenance, disruption and/or creation. Past studies mention this coexistence without an explanation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops a perspective through literature review.

Findings

Institutional actors are both socialized into the norm-oriented space of continuity and maintenance through their reciprocal relations and associated social knowledge and roles and disciplined into the goal-oriented space of change and disruption/creation through their power relations and associated expert discourse and subject positions. Their institutional existence indicates a particular combination of reciprocity and power and thus their work includes changing degrees of maintenance, disruption and creation, depending on the nature of this combination.

Research limitations/implications

The paper points out research directions on the relational conditions of the actors, which facilitate or constrain their work toward institutional continuity or change.

Practical implications

Organizations whose concern is to continue the existing practices in a stable environment should emphasize reciprocal relations whereas organizations whose concern is to change those practices for more effectiveness in a dynamic environment should emphasize power relations. Also, too much emphasis on either relations leads to inflexibility or instability.

Originality/value

The paper provides an explanation on the sources of coexistence of continuity and change in institutional work. It also contributes to the discussions on contingency of institutions, resistance productive of institutional change, reflexivity of institutional actors and intersubjective construction of institutional work.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 23 June 2021

Lois M. Evans

The paper aims to respond to three questions: Are Canadian organizations committed to sustainability? Are there any links between sustainability and records management and…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to respond to three questions: Are Canadian organizations committed to sustainability? Are there any links between sustainability and records management and archives programs? And, to what extent are records managers, archivists and technologists engaged in climate action? The paper also provides background on climate change in the Canadian and global contexts, defines relevant terminology, and presents a literature review that positions sustainability, adaptation and mitigation in relation to records management and archives.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on qualitative participatory research involving expert interviews in 24 government agencies, universities and businesses located in 10 Canadian cities.

Findings

The organizations in the study are committed to sustainability and have developed significant programs and activities in support of this aim. Although the records managers, archivists and technologists interviewed are involved in related activities, there is a gap between what they are doing as a matter of course and the wider sustainability efforts of their parent organizations. As resources are tight, sustainability measurement entails more work and there are no real incentives to add sustainability components to programs, the participants are focused on delivering the programs they are hired to do. As a result, there is a sense of serendipity around outcomes that do occur – “sometimes, green is the outcome”.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents the results of research conducted at 24 organizations in 10 Canadian cities, a small but meaningful sample that provides a springboard for considering climate action in records and archives. Based on the discussion, there is a need for a records and archives agenda that directly responds the United Nation's climate action targets: strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters; integrating climate change measures into policies, strategies and planning; and improving education, awareness-raising and human institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. In support of this aim, the paper charts possible material topics from the literature and compares these with research findings.

Practical implications

From a top-down perspective, organizations need to expand sustainability programs to address all business areas, including records and archives. From a bottom-up perspective, records managers and archivists should include adaptation in disaster planning and consider the program benefits of developing economic, environmental and social sustainability initiatives to mitigate climate change.

Originality/value

The paper defines resilience, sustainability, adaption and mitigation and positions these terms in records management and archives. The paper examines how records managers, archivists and technologists think about sustainability; where sustainability intersects with records and archives work; and how records managers and archivists can engage in climate action.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Book part
Publication date: 17 May 2018

Monica Maceli

Purpose – As the role of technology in libraries has broadened and expanded, tech-savvy librarians and non-librarian technologists are increasingly working side by side in…

Abstract

Purpose – As the role of technology in libraries has broadened and expanded, tech-savvy librarians and non-librarian technologists are increasingly working side by side in complex digital environments. Little research has explored the key differences between these roles and the implications for the future of the Master of Library Science (MLS) and its variant degrees, particularly as technologists from various backgrounds increasingly enter the information field. This chapter contrasts the technological responsibilities of the two groups to build an understanding of the necessity of the MLS in library-oriented technology work.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Qualitative coding and text mining techniques were used to analyze technology-oriented librarian and non-librarian job advertisements, technology curriculum changes, and surveyed technology interests of current information professionals.

Findings – Findings indicate a clear distinction between librarian and non-librarian technology responsibilities. Librarian positions emphasize web design, data and metadata, technology troubleshooting, and usage of library-oriented software. Non-librarian technologists require programming, database development, and systems administration, with deeper software and systems knowledge. Overlap was noted in the areas of user experience, linked data, and metadata. Several newer trends that information professionals expressed a desire to learn – such as makerspace technologies – were observed to be poorly covered in the technology curriculum, though the MLS curriculum generally covered the tech-savvy librarians’ responsibilities.

Originality/Value – This chapter builds understanding of the current necessity of the MLS in library-oriented technology work, as contrasted against the role of non-librarian technologists, through analysis of a triangulated set of data sources covering employment opportunities, technology curriculum, and librarians’ technology interests.

Details

Re-envisioning the MLS: Perspectives on the Future of Library and Information Science Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-884-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

Alain Verstraete, Ermine van Boeckel, Martine Thys and Frans Engelen

A multiple choice questionnaire was submitted to medical technologists in three medical laboratories, at varying times after obtaining an EN 45001 accreditation. A large…

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Abstract

A multiple choice questionnaire was submitted to medical technologists in three medical laboratories, at varying times after obtaining an EN 45001 accreditation. A large majority (85‐90 per cent) considered that their workload was increased by the accreditation process. In two laboratories, the technologists did not think that the accreditation process had improved the quality of the results. The major advantages were the fact that everything was traceable, that the technologists felt more sure about the procedures to follow, received more responsibilities and had a better knowledge of the tests they performed. The major disadvantages were the increased paperwork, discrepancies between the procedures and the reality, the fact that more attention is paid to the formalities than to the quality of the results and that the accreditation process decreased the adaptability. The number of advantages mentioned seemed to increase with the interval since the accreditation. A small majority of the technologists preferred working in an accredited laboratory than in a non accredited one.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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