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Institutions and OrganizationsA Process View$
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Trish Reay, Tammar B. Zilber, Ann Langley, and Haridimos Tsoukas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198843818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843818.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2020

Data as Process

Data as Process

From Objective Resource to Contingent Performance

(p.227) 13 Data as Process
Institutions and Organizations

Matthew Jones

Alan F. Blackwell

Karl Prince

Sallyanne Meakins

Alexander Simpson

Alain Vuylsteke

Oxford University Press

Adopting a strong process perspective, this chapter seeks to problematize the way in which data are typically conceived in the information sciences and in contemporary organizational discourse. Drawing on evidence from an ongoing multidisciplinary study of data reuse in acute healthcare we argue that, contrary to the prevalent conception of data as a fundamental, natural resource that exists “out there” in the world, data are constituted through complex activities and transactions. They are a contingent record of a contingent selection of what is paid attention to in the world. Not all data that are recorded, moreover, may be looked for, and of these not all may be found or be accessible. Much of what gets described as data are therefore “data in principle” only, with just a proportion becoming “data in practice,” able to contribute to organizational processes. Some implications of this process view of data are explored.

Keywords:   process studies, data, clinical information systems, healthcare, hospitals

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