Implementing Open Network Technologies in Complex Work Practices: A Case from Telemedicine

  • Margun Aanestad
  • Ole Hanseth
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 41)


New non-desktop technologies may turn out to be of a more open and generic nature than traditional information technologies. These technologies consequently pose novel challenges to systems development practice, as the design, implementation, and use of these technologies will be different. This paper presents empirical material from a project where multimedia technology was introduced into a complex medical work practice (surgery). The implementation process is analyzed at the micro-level and the process is found to be highly complex, emergent, and continuous. Using actor-network theory, we argue that conceptualizing the process as cultivating the hybrid collectif of humans and non-humans, technologies and non-technologies (Callon and Law 1995) is a suitable and useful approach. This concept may capture the open-ended and emergent nature of the process and indicate the suitability of an evolutionary approach.


Telemedicine Multimedia Network actor-network theory cultivation hybrid collectif 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margun Aanestad
    • 1
  • Ole Hanseth
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Oslo and The Interventional CentreThe National HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.University of OsloNorway

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