Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 34 Number 3 2017 pp. 664-694

Reflective Technology Assimilation: Facilitating Electronic Health Record Assimilation in Small Physician Practices

Baird, Aaron, Davidson, Elizabeth, and Mathiassen, Lars


Effectively incorporating complex technology into organizational practices requires moving beyond initial plateaus of postadoption usage. However, achieving this is especially challenging for small businesses because competing priorities in addition to resource and attention constraints may lead to technology assimilation satisficing. With this context in mind, we conducted a four-year action research project in which we supported electronic health record (EHR) assimilation in 10 small physician practices by facilitating reflections to help these small organizations move beyond an initial plateau of postadoption EHR usage. Drawing from these results, we theorize reflective technology assimilation (RTA) as an emergent process of facilitating deeper learning and reflection within and across small resource- and attention-constrained organizations to enable ongoing technology assimilation. In addition, we articulate the foundational principles for reflective action research (RAR) as an approach in which researchers facilitate reflective problem solving while advancing theoretical knowledge.

Key words and phrases: action research, community-of-practice, electronic health record (EHR), learning, reflective practice, technology assimilation