Place and Organizing for Emerging Technologies: Challenges of Scaling 3DPrinting Across a UK Hospital

Stavros Polykarpou, Michael Barrett, Eivor Oborn

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This paper examines how the role of place shapes the way emerging technologies scale across hospital organizations. Through a five-year ethnographic field study on organizing 3D printing across a major UK National Health Service (NHS) hospital, we extend theory on how places influence the attempted scaling of this emerging technology. Informed by a practice lens and a process research approach, we develop a model that theorizes the constitutive role of place in terms of its resources, materiality and location meaning, which taken together, explain how and why the scaling of 3D printing failed in three different situated places remained rather limited. Moreover, we unpack the idea of place dynamics, which entail processes of place bending, place extending and place framing to theorize the role of place in scaling an emerging technology. We conclude by discussing the implications for the organizing of emerging technologies and highlight the ways in which place is integral to shaping the process of scaling.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
EventAcademy of Management Conference -
Duration: 9 Aug 2019 → …


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