Agency Theory in E-Healthcare and Telemedicine: A Literature Study
The agency theory is concerned with agency relationships between two or more parties involved in an economic transaction. IS research has attributed this theory with being helpful for describing and explaining effects of ICT usage. The healthcare domain is subject of both agency relationships and the adoption of various ICT. While IS research has applied agency theory to a lot of different domains already, often with very useful results, a broader view of the particular role of agency theory in e-health research does not exist yet. This chapter thus analyses (1) to which extent agency relationships have been considered in e-health research, and (2) to which extent e-health research explicitly makes use of the insights, and results of agency theory. For this purpose, we report the process and results of a two-step literature review. The first step covers IS journals in general and identifies research that employs an agency theory perspective. The second step studies a specific e-health application, telemedicine, and unfolds the consideration of agency relationships.
KeywordsHidden action Hidden characteristics Hidden information IS adoption New Institutional Economics Transaction
We wish to thank Stefan Kirn and Marcus Mueller for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this chapter. We thank Ansger Jacob, Marcus Mueller, Andreas Scheuermann and Daniel Weiss for contributing to the classification and coding of telemedicine articles.
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