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The yellow line:  a critical study of the symbolic value of artefacts in health care teams
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Pedagogy and Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6358-3528
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Division of Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9463-7341
2010 (English)In: Cognition, Technology & Work, ISSN 1435-5558, E-ISSN 1435-5566, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 251-261Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Artefacts reveal an organisation's ''inner life'' and they contribute to its image and reputation. They also play a decisive role for an organisation's development. In this article, similar artefacts from two different health care teams—a trauma team and a psychiatric team—in the same hospital, are compared. The team members were interviewed and their work observed over the course of several years. It was demonstrated that identical pieces of equipment in a trauma team and a psychiatric team signalled opposite values. The psychiatric team was backwardlooking, conservative and contradictory. Modern technology and pieces of equipment were associated with an abandoned and previously criticised activity. The corresponding equipment in the trauma team, on the other hand, signalled a forward looking, developing and unified culture. The trauma team was a relatively new and powerfully idealised phenomenon, which attracted attention. The analysis points out how the symbolic values signal that one activity is attractive and pleasing while another has a low external legitimacy. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 12, no 4, p. 251-261
Keywords [en]
Artefact, Culture, Organisation, Psychiatry, Trauma health care, Health care system, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Public administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-3036DOI: 10.1007/s10111-009-0136-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-3036DiVA, id: diva2:390574
Available from: 2011-01-22 Created: 2011-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Berlin, JohanCarlström, Eric

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