Moving from Adoption to Use: Physicians’ Mixed Commitments in Deciding to Use Robotic Technologies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article shifts sociological attention from doctors' adoption of medical innovations to ask how doctors decide to use expensive technologies adopted by administrators. It draws upon a content analysis of clinical research and 25 interviews with cardiologists who must decide whether to use a computer mouse- and algorithm-driven technology and whose status is partially based on manual dexterity – “good hands”. The content analysis shows that researchers do not study topics that reflect the occupation's interest in the technology's capability to strengthen the occupation's standing in competing with other professions for a jurisdiction. The interviews show that the physicians made decisions based on the habits and routines they developed in their training venue, and their subsequent division of labor with colleagues in their current workplace venue. A typology of decision processes is proposed, suggesting the usefulness of capturing foreground preoccupations and the background conditions affecting the physicians' situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-347
Number of pages34
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • medicine
  • professions
  • robotics
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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