Title: Balancing standardisation and customisation in the public elderly care setting

Authors: Anna Essen

Addresses: Kraftriket, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Contemporary literature typically conceptualises standardisation and customisation as two ends on a continuum. Using qualitative data from the public home-help services setting, this paper explores how standardisation and customisation can concurrently operate in practice. The findings suggest that in many cases, services in this setting include a high degree of standardisation and a high degree of customisation. This is possible with a strategy characterised by a deliberate emergentness, i.e., allowing operational strategies to emerge in situ, within a shared ideology, imposed legal constraints and financial restrictions. It is concluded that depicting standardisation and customisation as two ends on a continuum may be inappropriate. Rather, there is a need for new models and concepts illustrating the relationship between standardisation and customisation, allowing for high levels of standardisation combined with high levels of customisation.

Keywords: healthcare; standardisation; mass customisation; telehealth; Sweden; care of the elderly; senior citizens; public home help services.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2008.017146

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2008 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.324 - 340

Published online: 15 Feb 2008 *

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