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Power, Machines, and Social Relations: Delegating to Information Technology in the UK National Health Service

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date08/1995
Number of pages30
Original languageEnglish


This article considers the implications of Latour's notions of durability and delegation for theorizing the relationship between technology and organization. Two central themes are the heterogeneous character of the fabric of organizational life which interweaves both humans and non-humans (including machines and inscriptions); and the question of power/domination in matters technological. To contextualize the discussion, the paper reflects on some of the recent developments in the UK National Health Service (the NHS) which centre on the development and use of information systems for purposes of management control, decision-making, contracting and the search for greater efficiency and organizational rationality through the operation of an internal market.