University of Liverpool Featured PhD Programmes
University of Sussex Featured PhD Programmes
Queen’s University Belfast Featured PhD Programmes

Moral Ordering of Digital Healthcare Technologies (Advert Reference: SF19/BL/EIS/WILSON)

Faculty of Business and Law

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
Prof R Wilson Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The implementation of digital technologies from telecare to electronic health record systems remains a significant challenge to governments around the world. This set against longstanding claims that innovation through digitalization will improve services, streamline care, reduce mistakes and cut costs. These benefits largely remain unrealised in context with various studies identifying a range barriers and drivers to failed implementations. A promising strand of work in healthcare management contexts has established that the moral and ethical issues governing the production, ownership, use of and responsibility for health records within a broader context of shifting power relationships among doctors, patients and the state, and outline the pivotal role that organisations and technologies play, in the mediation of relationships through the allocation of work (see Wilson et al. 2012 and Wilson et al. 2017). Recent work in the UK and Australia has brought the sociological concept of moral orders to bear as a potential avenue for exploring these wider sociotechnical issues surrounding the implementation issues of such programmes at the macro level (McLoughlin et al 2017, Garrety et al. 2016). Policies that pursue digitalisation as a self-evident ’solution’ to problems in healthcare without due regard to these disruptions caused by the implied changes to moral order risk alienation and resistance from key stakeholders. The research project will explore implementations of digital healthcare that seeks to make explicit the process of moral re-ordering around rights and responsibilities of those stakeholders of those involved in healthcare relationships (Garrety et al 2014).

The project will be based at Northumbria University in a research group with interests in the Digital Healthcare and Technology, Complexity and Public Service reform. Our work is based in three overlapping contexts - the integration and information aspects of public services (in particular contexts of health and social care - including children, older people and families); the challenges of data, information and measurement in local governance (the NHS, VCS/Third sector and local government) and relationship of information and information systems to organisational change in public services.

This project is supervised by Prof Rob Wilson.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/…) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

Please note this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend.


Wilson R, Baines S, Martin M, Richter P, McLoughlin I, Maniatopoulos G. Who is telecaring whom? Exploring the total social organisation of care work in an Italian municipality. New Technology Work and Employment 2017, 32(3), 268-282.

McLoughlin, I., Garetty, K. & Wilson, R., (2017) The Digitalization of Health Care: Electronic Records and the Disruption of Moral Orders Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McLoughlin IP, Garrety K, Wilson R, Dalley A, Yu P. Doing Infrastructural Work: The Role of Boundary Objects in Health Information Infrastructure Projects. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 2016, 28(2), 2.

Garrety K, McLoughlin I, Dalley A, Wilson R, Yu P. National Electronic Health Record Systems as ‘Wicked Projects’: The Australian Experience. Information Polity 2016, 21(4), 367-381.

Garrety K, McLoughlin I, Wilson R, Zelle G, Martin M. National electronic health records and the digital disruption of moral orders. Social Science & Medicine 2014, 101, 70-77.

Wilson R, Maniatopoulos G, Martin M, McLoughlin I. Innovating Relationships: Taking a co-productive approach to the shaping of Telecare services for Older People. Information, Communication and Society 2012, 15(7), 1136-1163.

McLoughlin I, Maniatopoulos G, Wilson R, Martin M. Inside a Digital Experiment: Co-producing Telecare Services for Older People. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 2012, 24(2), 1.
Search Suggestions

Search Suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2021
All rights reserved.