Logistics Robots as an enabler of hospital service system renewal?

Inka Lappalainen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    Purpose – This paper examines the introduction of logistics robots from a multi-actor network perspective in a hospital service system. The focus is on complex dynamics, emerging practices and value-in-use.
    Methodology – A longitudinal case-study approach was applied to examine the stepwise introduction of the advanced logistics robot system empirically in the Finnish Central Hospital. Aligned with implementation, two-phased interviews of different involving actors/professions in addition to observations were conducted during 2016-2018.
    Findings – The empirical findings reveal complex interdependences in the dynamic hospital service system. All actors shared their conception of the systemic change boosted by the logistic robotic system to enable more efficient and customer-centric care work as a core service. However, the multi-actor insights and emerged new practices show the diversity with conflicting interests in terms of changing mutual roles, resource integration and related redesign possibilities.
    Research limitations – The chosen research approach provided rich empirical data. However, the findings are tentative with case-study limitations, and thus open avenues for further research.
    Research implications – The paper brings new empirical insights by combining practice-based, service systems thinking and S-D Logic approaches with previous research on service, and particularly logistics, robots in the hospital context.
    Practical implications – The paper provides a deeper understanding, and alternatives to considersystemic and all relevant actors’ perspectives when logistics robots are designed and activated for everyday use.
    Originality/value – The study narrows the identified research gap considering the lack of empirical research on the introduction of service robots in health care from the systemic perspective.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe 10 years Naples Forum on Service - Proceedings
    Subtitle of host publicationService Dominant Logic, Network and Systems Theory and Service Science: Integrating three Perspectives for a New Service Agenda
    EditorsE. Gummesson, C. Mele, F. Polese
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)978-88-31622-19-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
    Event10th Naples Forum on Service - Ischia, Italy
    Duration: 4 Jun 20197 Jun 2019


    Conference10th Naples Forum on Service


    • Service systems
    • robots
    • practice
    • value-in-use
    • hospitals


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