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Performing boundary work: The emergence of a new practice in a hybrid operating room

Journal article
Authors Kajsa Lindberg
Lars Walter
Elena Raviola
Published in Social Science & Medicine
Volume 182
Pages 81-88
ISSN 0277-9536
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Pages 81-88
Language en
Keywords Sweden, Boundary work, Boundaries, Hybrid operating room, Scripting processes, Actor-network theory
Subject categories Business Administration


This paper addresses the processes of boundary work, in relation to the introduction of new technology, unfolding during the emergence of new medical practices. Inspired by Gieryn's fluid and practical view of boundaries and boundary work, and by Actor-Network Theory's description of scripting processes, we study the processes of negotiating and (re-)constructing boundaries in order to reveal both the interactions between different kinds of boundary work and their situatedness in the context of the emerging practice. We conducted a longitudinal and qualitative study of a generic Hybrid Operating Room at a Swedish university hospital, where sophisticated imaging devices are combined with open surgery procedures in a single room; consequently, medical requirements regarding radiology, surgery and anesthesia, as well as the specificities of the new technology, all need to be met at the same time. The study shows how the visibility of boundaries is a result of as well as a condition for boundary work, how boundary work is a dynamic and iterative process, and how it unfolds in a recursive relationship between practice and boundaries. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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