Project Details


●DigiVal addresses the challenging question of how organisations justify investments in digital technologies for value in the digital age. The project focuses on the crucial intangible value digital technologies can provide based on forming, maintaining, and enhancing reputation.

● DigiVAL's first paper contributes a performative framing practices perspective to examine how practitioners’ temporally oriented framing practices matter in justifying health IT investments and are enacting different possibilities for reputational value. The main implication is that intangible reputational value is conceptualised as fluid and mutable in the digital age.

●The second paper examines how IT investments can help organisations build and sustain their reputations. Our analysis of 152 hospital organisations in England, complemented by interviews with healthcare journalists, shows that investments in IT equipment can buffer hospitals from negative press and help them gain and maintain a strong reputation in the media.

Layman's description

●DigiVAL contributes novel insights to the important question of how digital technologies provide value to organisations. The project focused on the invisible benefits digital technologies can provide by helping organisations build, maintain, and enhance their reputation. DigiVAL contributes a new value dimension beyond the traditional financial and operational notions of value: social approval value. That is, digital technologies can signal social welfare and equality, triggering positive evaluations by external stakeholders.

Key findings

Research Output 1: How IT Investments Help Hospitals Gain and Sustain Reputation in the Media: The Role of Signaling and Framing

● Understanding how IT investments can help organizations build and sustain reputation is particularly relevant for practice and policy in healthcare, where patients are often unable to assess the quality of care, relying instead on the reputation of health service providers.

● As information intermediaries, journalists are well positioned to detect, aggregate and translate the weaker signals for quality – among which are state-of-the-art IT – a hospital emits.

● Our analysis of 152 hospital organizations in England, complemented by interviews with healthcare journalists, shows that journalists write less negatively but not more positively about hospitals with increasing IT equipment investments.

● Investments in IT equipment can thus buffer hospitals from negative press, helping them gain and maintain a strong reputation in the media.

● In response, practitioners and policymakers can incorporate IT's reputational effect into their IT funding and investment decisions and amplify this effect via dedicated IT-based communication, such as press releases on the latest IT additions, specific sections in corporate reports, and close personal interactions.

Research Output 2: Justifying health IT investments: A process model of framing practices and reputational value

● We develop a performative framing framework to unpack how temporally oriented practices are consequential in performing different health IT value possibilities.

● We study how practitioners at two hospital organizations facing different reputational circumstances justified HIT reputational value.

● We highlight how reputational value is performed in different ways through the ongoing process of justifying HIT investments.

● We contribute a process model of how value justifications are enacted through temporally oriented framing practices informed by the past but also oriented toward the future and the present.

Short titleTowards Societal IT Value in the Digital Age
Effective start/end date1/10/1431/03/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being