Advertisement

Abstract

Resilience is commonly portrayed as a positive capability that allows individuals and organizations to thrive in dynamic contexts. This paper questions this oversimplified view based on a dialectical analysis of a telehealth innovation. We analyze the major contradictions that characterize the adoption of the innovation. First, we analyze contradictions between individuals and groups within each adopting hospital. Second, we analyze contradictions between the adopting hospitals. This two-level analysis leads to a deeper understanding of resilience as a dialectical process. The analysis of the case shows that, although the participating individuals and organizations demonstrated apparent resilience in adopting the telehealth innovation, the innovation remained in a fragile state where it was unclear whether it would continue to diffuse, stabilize as-is, or slowly deteriorate. Hence, while organizational resilience facilitated swift and successful adoption, it also created tensions that endangered further diffusion and the long term sustainability of the telehealth innovation. We suggest that understanding the future success of the innovation would be facilitated to a large extent by a dialectical analysis of the involved contradictions.

Keywords

Resilience dialectics telehealth innovation 

References

  1. Aarts, J., and Peel, V. “Using a Descriptive Model of Change When Implementing Large Scale Clinical Information Systems to Identify Priorities for Further Research,” International Journal of Medical Informatics (56), 1999, pp. 43–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. G. “Clearing the Way for Physicians’ Use of Clinical Information Systems,” Communications of the ACM (40:8), 1997, pp. 83–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bangert, D., and Doktor, R. “The Role of Organizational Culture in the Management of Clinical e-Health Systems,” in Proceedings of the 36 th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2003, pp. 163–171Google Scholar
  4. Bacharach, S. B., Bamberger, P., and Sonnenstuhl, W. J. “The Organizational Transformation Process: The Micropolitics of Dissonance Reduction and the Alignment of Logics of Action,” Administrative Science Quarterly (41:3), 1996, pp. 477–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Benbasat, I., Goldenstein, D. K., and Mead, M. “The Case Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems,” MIS Quarterly (11:3), 1987, pp. 369–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berg, M. “Implementing Information Systems in Health Care Organizations: Myths and Challenges,” International Journal of Medical Informatics (64:2–3), 2001, pp. 143–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bjerknes, G. “Dialectical Reflection in Information Systems Development,” Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems (3), 1991, pp. 55–77.Google Scholar
  8. Casper, M. L., Barnett, E., Williams, G. I. J., Halverson, J. A., Braham, V. E., and Greenlund, K. J. “Atlas of Stroke Mortality: Racial, Ethnic, and Geographic Disparities in the United States,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 2003 (available online through www.cdc.gov).Google Scholar
  9. Chae, B., and Bloodgood, J. M. “The Paradoxes of Knowledge Management: An Eastern Philosophical Perspective,” Information and Organization (16:1), 2006, pp. 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chiasson, M. W., and Davidson, E. “Pushing the Contextual Envelope: Developing and Diffusing Is Theory for Health Information Systems Research,” Information and Organization (14:3), 2004, pp. 155–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Constantinides, P., and Barrett, M. “Negotiating ICT Development and Use: The Case of a Telemedicine System in the Healthcare Region of Crete,” Information and Organization (16:1), 2006, pp. 27–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coutu, D. L. “How Resilience Works,” Harvard Business Review (80:5), 2002, pp. 46–55.Google Scholar
  13. Darke, P., Shanks, G., and Broadbent, M. “Successfully Completing Case Study Research: Combining Rigor, Relevance and Pragmatism,” Information Systems Journal (8:4), 1998, pp. 273–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Das, T. K., and Teng, B.-S. “Instabilities of Strategic Alliances: An Internal Tensions Perspective,” Organization Science (11:1), 2000, pp. 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Davidson, E. J. “Analyzing Genre of Organizational Communication in Clinical Information Systems,” Information, Technology, and People (13:3), 2000, pp. 196–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dwivedi, A., Bali, R. K., James, A. E., and Naguib, R. N. G. “Telehealth Systems: Considering Knowledge Management and ICT Issues,” in Proceedings of the 23 rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2001, pp. 25–28.Google Scholar
  17. Ford, J. D., and Ford, L. W. “Logics of Identity, Contradiction, and Attraction in Change,” The Academy of Management Review (19:4), 1994, pp. 756–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hamel, G., and Valikangas, L. “The Quest for Resilience,” Harvard Business Review (81:9), 2003, pp.52–63.Google Scholar
  19. Hornby, A. S. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  20. Horne III, J. F. “The Coming Age of Organizational Resilience,” Business Forum (22:2/3/4), 1997, pp. 24–28.Google Scholar
  21. Horne III, J. F., and Orr, J. E. “Assessing Behaviors That Create Resilient Organizations,” Employment Relations Today (24:4), 1998, pp. 29–39.Google Scholar
  22. Israel, J. The Language of Dialectics and the Dialectics of Language, Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1979.Google Scholar
  23. Klein, K. J., Dansereau, F., and Hall, R. J. “Levels Issues in Theory Development, Data Collection, and Analysis,” Academy of Management Review (19:2), 1994, pp. 195–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lorenzi, N. M., and Riley, R. T. “Organizational ISSUES=change,” International Journal of Medical Informatics (69:2–3), 2003, pp. 197–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Maheu, M. M., Whitten, P., and Allen, A. E-Health, Telehealth, and Telemedicine: A Guide to Start-up and Success, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.Google Scholar
  26. Mallak, L. “Putting Organizational Resilience to Work,” Industrial Management (40:6), 1998, pp. 8–13.Google Scholar
  27. Mathiassen, L. “Reflective Systems Development,” Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems (10:1&2), 1998, pp. 67–118.Google Scholar
  28. Mathiassen, L., and Nielsen, P. A. “Soft Systems and Hard Contradictions: Approaching the Reality of Information Systems in Organizations,” Journal of Applied Systems Analysis, (16), 1989.Google Scholar
  29. Moore, G. A. “Darwin and the Demon: Innovating Within Established Enterprises,” Harvard Business Review (82:7&8), 2004, pp. 86–92Google Scholar
  30. Moore, G. A. Inside the Tornado: Marketing Strategies from Silicon Valley’s Cutting Edge, New York: HarperBusiness, 1999.Google Scholar
  31. Raghupathi, W. “Health Care Information Systems,” Communications of the ACM (40:8), 1997, pp. 80–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Reinmoeller, P., and van Baardwijk, N. “The Link Between Diversity and Resilience,” MIT Sloan Management Review (46:4), Summer 2005, pp. 61–65.Google Scholar
  33. Riolli, L., and Savicki, V. “Information System Organizational Resilience,” Omega: The International Journal of Management Science (31:3), 2003, pp. 227–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Robey, D., and Boudreau, M.-C. “Accounting for the Contradictory Organizational Consequences of Information Technology: Theoretical Directions and Methodological Implications,” Information Systems Research (10:2), 1999, pp. 167–185.Google Scholar
  35. Robey, D., and Holmstrom, J. “Transforming Municipal Governance in Global Context: A Case Study of the Dialectics of Social Change,” Journal of Global Information Technology Management (4:4), 2001, pp. 19–31.Google Scholar
  36. Robey, D., Ross, J. W., and Boudreau, M.-C. “Learning to Implement Enterprise Systems: An Exploratory Study of the Dialectics of Change,” Journal of Management Information Systems (19:1), 2002, pp. 17–46.Google Scholar
  37. Robey, D., and Sahay, S. “Transforming Work Through Information Technology: A Comparative Case Study of Georgraphic Information Systems in County Government,” Information Systems Research (7:1), 1996, pp. 93–110.Google Scholar
  38. Rond, M. D., and Bouchikhi, H. “On the Dialectics of Strategic Alliances,” Organization Science (15:1), 2004, pp. 56–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sabherwal, R., and Newman, M. “Persistence and Change in System Development: A Dialectical View,” Journal of Information Technology (18:2), 2003, pp. 69–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Starr, R., Newfrock, J., and Delurey, M. “Enterprise Resilience: Managing Risk in the Networked Economy,” strategy+ business, Spring 2003, pp. 1–10.Google Scholar
  41. Tanriverdi, H., and Iacono, C. S. “Knowledge Barriers to Diffusion of Telemedicine,” in Proceedings of the 19 th International Conference on Information Systems, R. Hirschheim, M. Newman, and J. I. DeGross (eds.), Helsinki, Finland, 1998, pp. 39–50.Google Scholar
  42. Van de Ven, A. H., and Poole, M. S. “Explaining Development and Change in Organizations,” Academy of Management Review (20:3), 1995, pp. 510–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Walsham, G. “Interpretive Case Study in IS Research. Nature and Method,” European Journal of Information Systems (4), 1995, pp. 74–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Weick, K. E. “The Collapse of Sensemaking in Organizations: The Mann Gulch Disaster,” Administrative Science Quarterly (38:4), 1993, pp. 628–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yin, R. K. Case Study Research Design and Methods (3rd ed.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunyoung Cho
    • 1
  • Lars Mathiassen
    • 1
  • Daniel Robey
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations