Exploring Public Sector Digitalization from a Virus Perspective: Evidence from Danish Home Care

Mette Strange Noesgaard, Jeppe Agger Nielsen, Tina Blegind Jensen, Lars Mathiassen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


Researchers have successfully used contagion metaphors such as diffusion, fashion, and mimicking to shed light on how digital innovations spread across an organizational field. In this paper, we extend this line of inquiry by applying Virus Theory to a longitudinal investigation of how three Danish public sector home care organizations adopted mobile technology into their day-to-day operations as part of a national digital innovation program. Focusing on how ideas (the virus) play out within individual organizations (the hosts), Virus Theory helped us reveal how each of the three organizations adapted the same ideas differently as mechanisms of infectiousness, immunity, replication, incubation, mutation, and dormancy shaped their implementation and extended use of mobile technology. Based on the empirical findings, we argue that Virus Theory offers new insights into contagion in digital innovation across an organizational field compared to knowledge derived from established theories of diffusion, fashion, and mimicking. In conclusion, we outline future research avenues to advance the virus perspective in IS research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event51. Årsmøde i Dansk Selskab for Statskundskab 2019 - Vejle, Denmark
Duration: 24 Oct 201925 Oct 2019
Conference number: 51


Conference51. Årsmøde i Dansk Selskab for Statskundskab 2019
Internet address


  • Digital innovation
  • Contagion
  • Virus metaphor
  • Longitudinal case study

Cite this