Participating in critical discourse: a critical research study of clinicians’ concerns for a Ghanaian hospital e-mail system

2019-12-04T13:51:49Z (GMT) by Frank Nyame-Asiamah Peter Kawalek
A growing body of information systems (IS) literature advocates the explicit use of suitable critical theories to explore power issues in developing countries and make IS research findings more accessible to systems’ users and the wider audiences for consumption. We respond to this debate in IS by applying critical research perspectives to discuss the power implications of Internet and e-mail resource distribution in a Ghanaian teaching hospital in a way that addresses clinicians’ concerns of using Internet services for healthcare practices. We applied critical qualitative approaches to collect and analyse data from clinicians, healthcare managers and the hospital’s internal documents. It was found that managers exercised their powers to allocate Internet facilities selectively on the contestable account that clinicians might misuse the Internet if they were given access and that they would seek to empower themselves as co-planners who could make technology choices and add new value to the existing normative decisions of the managers. The outcomes show that critical researchers can directly relate to decision-making powers, recognise their powers and expose structures that surround them, and emancipate people whose Internet resource needs are restricted to co-involve in technology adoption and distribution processes.