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Quantified control in healthcare work : Suggestions for future research

Levay, Charlotta LU ; Jönsson, Johan LU and Huzzard, Tony LU (2020) In Financial Accountability & Management p.1-18
Abstract
This paper outlines promising avenues for empirical research on quantified control in healthcare work. A review of key insights from accounting, organization studies, and the emergent sociology of quantification indicates that numbers are productive as well as deceptive and seductive, that they enable control but can be evaded, and that they typically have unintended effects. It remains to be further explored how multiple forms of measurement and quantified control play out in everyday healthcare work. Other questions worth probing concern the limits and capabilities of numbers as a shared language, the differential and disciplinary effects of numbers on social groups, the use of numbers for impression management, and how people manage to... (More)
This paper outlines promising avenues for empirical research on quantified control in healthcare work. A review of key insights from accounting, organization studies, and the emergent sociology of quantification indicates that numbers are productive as well as deceptive and seductive, that they enable control but can be evaded, and that they typically have unintended effects. It remains to be further explored how multiple forms of measurement and quantified control play out in everyday healthcare work. Other questions worth probing concern the limits and capabilities of numbers as a shared language, the differential and disciplinary effects of numbers on social groups, the use of numbers for impression management, and how people manage to resist or mobilize numbers for different purposes. Calling for additional qualitative, close-up studies, the paper proposes a research focus on everyday practices and the interactions of diverse control measures. It sets out several fruitful methodological pathways, both the well-established approaches of ethnography and Actor-Network Theory and the more novel approaches of investigating numbers as communicative acts or as dramaturgical performances. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
calculative practice, quantification, control, ethnography, healthcare
in
Financial Accountability & Management
pages
18 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85080086252
ISSN
1468-0408
DOI
10.1111/faam.12242
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2fd066dd-c007-45ee-a519-99ef1bbf12b7
date added to LUP
2020-05-19 14:20:58
date last changed
2020-05-24 06:32:03
@article{2fd066dd-c007-45ee-a519-99ef1bbf12b7,
  abstract     = {This paper outlines promising avenues for empirical research on quantified control in healthcare work. A review of key insights from accounting, organization studies, and the emergent sociology of quantification indicates that numbers are productive as well as deceptive and seductive, that they enable control but can be evaded, and that they typically have unintended effects. It remains to be further explored how multiple forms of measurement and quantified control play out in everyday healthcare work. Other questions worth probing concern the limits and capabilities of numbers as a shared language, the differential and disciplinary effects of numbers on social groups, the use of numbers for impression management, and how people manage to resist or mobilize numbers for different purposes. Calling for additional qualitative, close-up studies, the paper proposes a research focus on everyday practices and the interactions of diverse control measures. It sets out several fruitful methodological pathways, both the well-established approaches of ethnography and Actor-Network Theory and the more novel approaches of investigating numbers as communicative acts or as dramaturgical performances.},
  author       = {Levay, Charlotta and Jönsson, Johan and Huzzard, Tony},
  issn         = {1468-0408},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  pages        = {1--18},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Financial Accountability & Management},
  title        = {Quantified control in healthcare work : Suggestions for future research},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/faam.12242},
  doi          = {10.1111/faam.12242},
  year         = {2020},
}