Abstract

Resource limitations and demographic changes constitute challenges to European healthcare services. Service innovation and welfare technologies are expected to help make services more efficient and increase the autonomy and quality of life of citizens. The field of design is expected to help understand how that may happen. Innovation activity in Norwegian municipalities is however limited. A better understanding of how to support public service innovation is needed. To understand what is to be changed and by taking home medication as its case, this paper explores how to theoretically frame the challenge. It does that by first providing an overview of perspectives on the state of service innovation and welfare technology implementation in municipalities. Next, it introduces social practice theory as a way of capturing what goes on. Finally, it discusses the implications of seeing service innovation and production as (complexes of) social practices. It argues that such a perspective nuances the expectations for innovation to be exported into new domains, and for welfare technologies to make services more efficient. Change is seen as co-evolutionary, innovation as collectively accomplished, and what tools and approaches open up for as related to the changing configurations of the practice complexes they are part of.

Keywords:

Service design; welfare technology; sustainability; social practice theory

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Service Innovation and Welfare Technology for Sustainable Home Medication: Insights from Social Practice Theory

Resource limitations and demographic changes constitute challenges to European healthcare services. Service innovation and welfare technologies are expected to help make services more efficient and increase the autonomy and quality of life of citizens. The field of design is expected to help understand how that may happen. Innovation activity in Norwegian municipalities is however limited. A better understanding of how to support public service innovation is needed. To understand what is to be changed and by taking home medication as its case, this paper explores how to theoretically frame the challenge. It does that by first providing an overview of perspectives on the state of service innovation and welfare technology implementation in municipalities. Next, it introduces social practice theory as a way of capturing what goes on. Finally, it discusses the implications of seeing service innovation and production as (complexes of) social practices. It argues that such a perspective nuances the expectations for innovation to be exported into new domains, and for welfare technologies to make services more efficient. Change is seen as co-evolutionary, innovation as collectively accomplished, and what tools and approaches open up for as related to the changing configurations of the practice complexes they are part of.

 

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