Stabilizing the Danish ICU influenza surveillance network: An Actor-network theory perspective

Ali Shah & Nichlas Brødegaard Larsson

Student thesis: Master thesis


Since its establishment, during the 2009/2010 pandemic, the actor-network intensive care unit (ICU) influenza surveillance has become unstable. This study takes an actor-network theory perspective in identifying how SSI can stabilize the ICU surveillance network. We approached the problem with a three-phase research method. This involved conducting a preliminary exploratory research, which determined the scope of the study. Next, we conducted interviews and used our observations to analyze the interactions between human and non-human actors. This study determines the instabilities by analyzing the establishment of the ICU influenza surveillance network. By analyzing four Danish Regions we found four patterns in these actor-networks and dissected seven issues, which lead to network instability. We present five recommendations, which SSI can implement to again restore the stability of the actor-network. Three theoretical findings come from studying this case of cross-organization actor-networks. Firstly, the focal actor of a network must understand the interests of actors in the network, to ensure continuous alignment of interests. Secondly, finding is that studying associations between human and non-human actors can be used to determine why and how actor-networks are formed. Finally, the finding is that one must consider multiple social contexts when constructing inscriptions in artifacts and thus reduce the development of anti-programs.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages137