This article explores the adoption of new technology in organisations that provide senior citizen care. Inspired by Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory, we study how technology reduces complexity by identifying client needs and ensuring predictability in service delivery. However, how technologies are adopted in practice is not determined by technology since it is also structured by care-workers’ continuous decision-making. Against this backdrop, we explore how technologies alter the conditions for decision-making in two settings of elderly care, and we describe how care workers seek to adapt technologies to their practical needs as well as conception of care ethics. Developing a systems theory approach, the article eschews a priori assumptions of technological constraint on care-workers’ professional autonomy, offering a more open-ended exploration of diversified strategies for coping with new technology. Our case studies show that employees develop diversified strategies for technology adoption, including both non-usage, heated resistance, excessive embrace, and creative adaption.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: 3. March 2020
- New technology
- Elderly care
- Ethics of care
- System theory