Using Actor Network Theory to Interpret the Introduction of Information Systems within the London Ambulance Service

Publication Year:
2008
Usage 480
Abstract Views 291
Downloads 189
Repository URL:
http://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2008/265
Author(s):
Brooks, Laurence; Fitzgerald, Guy; Atkinson, Chris
Tags:
London Ambulance Service; Actor Network Theory; ANT; Information Systems; Failure; Success
article description
This paper presents a comparative analysis of two attempts to computerize the dispatch system (known as CAD) for the London Ambulance Service (LAS). These two cases are relatively well known and the first attempt has been characterized as a „failure‟ and the second as a „success‟. However, this analysis focuses on the human elements and uses Actor Network Theory (ANT) as the comparative interpretive framework to draw insights from the two cases. The ANT analyses focus on the role of the chief executive (CE) in each case, and how well they were able to mobilize the relevant groups involved in the CAD development and implementation. Both cases involved conflict between management and workforce aimed at changing peoples‟ working practices and processes, organizational politics, industrial relationships and the CAD development. The concepts of the successful and unsuccessful problem solving actor networks are developed as a means of appreciating the complexities, comparability and differences of these scenarios. Lessons learned from the comparative experience of the LAS cases provide insights into organizational turnaround, with success attributed to actively integrating IS and business development based on effective problem solving.