• Frida Karoline Skytt
  • Louise Lassen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
The present thesis investigates how citizens and employees make sense by the usage of welfare technology in a municipal context based on user involvement. The interest in the subject arose during our internship in the 9th semester, in which we dealt with an evaluation of a medical robot, which is the focal point of the present thesis.
The public sector is constantly undergoing changes and is facing major and new challenges that require political attention and prioritization. The demographic development leads to more elderly and a smaller working age population. It is expected that welfare technology is one of those areas that can accommodate these challenges. It should be pointed out that welfare technology implies huge and radical changes for the people who have to live and work with the technologies. Therefore, to ensure a successful integration of welfare technology, it requires that users’ perspectives are included and considered. This also refers to the concept of user involvement. In this context, it can be pointed out that user involvement is associated with a number of benefits, including greater satisfaction, higher quality of life and higher level of physical and mental function.
The present thesis is based on a qualitative investigation with a hermeneutic approach, which took place in a municipality. The empirical evidence was gathered through descriptions of the medical robot and the municipal context, qualitative research interviews with the consultant from the municipality, who has been responsible for the evaluation of the medical robot, qualitative research interviews with four citizens who possess the medical robot and two focus group interviews with employees working with the medical robot in practice. The analysis includes Albert Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy as a tool to analyze citizens’ opportunities to make sense by the usage of welfare technology and Karl E. Weicks theory of sensemaking is included as a tool to analyze employees’ sensemaking by the usage of welfare technology.
The research shows that user involvement is of great importance for the citizens’ and employees’ opportunities to make sense by the usage of welfare technology. User involvement provides an opportunity to identify potential for improvement, for which reason it is expected that it can help to qualify the development processes around welfare technology. Furthermore, the research also shows that the citizens make sense of welfare technology on the basis of several parameters, including freedom and independence, role models in the form of employees and verbal persuasion from relatives and employees. The employees make sense by the usage of welfare technology based on several factors. Among other things, they make sense of the internal exchange of experience and several professional considerations. These professional considerations are based on the fact that welfare technology can support citizens’ independence and security. In addition, the employees make sense with the professional visits to the citizens, in which they can enter into a dialogue. The employees also make sense by using focus persons who pass on knowledge regarding welfare technology to the citizens.
On the basis of the informants' statements, we found a number of attention points that are important to consider prospectively in relation to the citizens' and employees' sensemaking with welfare technology. The points of attention include introduction and training, professional identity, inclusion and exclusion criteria and the relatives.
Publication date28 May 2021
Number of pages103
External collaboratorUkendt
no name vbn@aub.aau.dk
ID: 413098585