Trialability, observability and risk reduction accelerating individual innovation adoption decisions
Hayes, KJ and Eljiz, K and Dadich, A and Fitzgerald, JA and Sloan, T, Trialability, observability and risk reduction accelerating individual innovation adoption decisions, Journal of Health Organization and Management, 29, (2) pp. 271-294. ISSN 1477-7266 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a retrospective analysis of computer simulation’s
role in accelerating individual innovation adoption decisions. The process innovation examined is
Lean Systems Thinking, and the organizational context is the imaging department of an Australian
Design/methodology/approach – Intrinsic case study methods including observation, interviews
with radiology and emergency personnel about scheduling procedures, mapping patient appointment
processes and document analysis were used over three years and then complemented with retrospective
interviews with key hospital staff. The multiple data sources and methods were combined in a pragmatic
and reflexive manner to explore an extreme case that provides potential to act as an instructive template
for effective change.
Findings – Computer simulation of process change ideas offered by staff to improve patient-flow
accelerated the adoption of the process changes, largely because animated computer simulation permitted
experimentation (trialability), provided observable predictions of change results (observability) and
minimized perceived risk.
Research limitations/implications – The difficulty of making accurate comparisons between time
periods in a health care setting is acknowledged.
Practical implications – This work has implications for policy, practice and theory, particularly
for inducing the rapid diffusion of process innovations to address challenges facing health service
organizations and national health systems.