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Ethos, logos and pathos: The role of rhetoric in the implementation of information systems within the NHS

Medi, I 2014, Ethos, logos and pathos: The role of rhetoric in the implementation of information systems within the NHS , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The National Health Service (NHS) has a chequered history as far as the introduction of new systems are concerned, yet this has not deterred the UK Government from attempting to modernise the organisation through the use of technology. The difficulties of implementing information systems into such a complex and heterogeneous context has attracted significant research from within the Information Systems (IS) discipline, from which we know that persuasion is a fundamental component of the implementation process. However, the exact nature of how and why this persuasion takes place has not been particularly well examined. Persuasion is facilitated through rhetoric, which is an inescapable consequence of human dialogue and engagement. In order to understand how persuasion takes place thus requires an investigation into rhetoric, however this as received little attention from within the discipline of information systems. This study looks to address this through a rhetorical investigation of the introduction of new information systems into the NHS. Situated within the NHS' National Programme for IT, the research adopts an interpretivist approach from which to analysis how key actors utilise rhetoric and thus influence the process of IS implementation. The research looks to answer the question 'How can rhetoric aid in our understanding of information systems implementation in the NHS?’ and ultimately evaluate the suitability of using rhetoric analysis in IS research. Through a combination of individual and group interviews, as well as the observation of meetings and training sessions, the research analysed the effect of ethos, logos and pathos upon stakeholders during their interaction and engagement. Members of the implementation team sought to play upon the clinicians’ sense of duty and thus draw upon the nurses’ emotions, whilst senior clinicians sought to cultivate a collective mostly negative attitude towards the new systems through ethos or the standing with other clinicians. The study concludes that rhetoric provides a useful tool through which to investigation the interactions that take place between key actors involved in the implementation of new systems. Secondly, it can be used to understand how stakeholders are persuaded to use an information system, as well as the persuasive techniques used to generate resistance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Imran Medi
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2014 17:11
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 07:52
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/32820

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