Asiantuntijuus, digitaalinen teknologia ja moniaineksiset toimijaverkostot

Jenni Huhtasalo

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Expertise has been studied by representatives of various disciplines for decades. In the social sciences, it has generally been addressed through interpersonal communication and agency. The continuous development of digital technologies and them becoming a natural part of current expert work make it necessary to take a critical look at the relationship between expertise and digital technologies. In this dissertation, I study the effects of increasing use of various digital technologies in the expert work. At the same time, I draw a more multidimensional picture of expertise than would be possible by focusing only on human agency.

My dissertation consists of three studies as well as a synthesis part which answers the main research question of my dissertation: which actors the actor network of the expertise is based on and how different digital technologies serve as a part of the actor network of the expertise? I study this in the expert work of specialist nurses as well as teachers working at the university. The actor network theory, which is a suitable approach for studying diverse actor networks, has been my methodological tool in the synthesis part. Through the actor network theory, I have re-interpreted the results of my studies. In this theory, agency is perceived as a broader concept than human agency, and therefore non-human actors, such as digital technologies, are also seen to play a key role.

Using the conceptual tools provided by the actor network theory, my dissertation provides three different stories and snapshots of actor networks of expertise and the agency of different digital technologies as part of these networks. My research is related to the discussion about the long-standing change in expert work and expertise in the field of research and makes it clear how well different actors can work together and form an ever-changing network of expertise actors. By acting as part of networks of expertise actors, digital technology changes expert work; roles, sharing expertise, experience of expertise and professional identity. My research results broaden our comprehension of the actors involved in expertise, deepen our understanding of the relationship between digital technologies and expertise, and open our eyes to a broader reality than would be possible by following human actors.
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationTampere
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-2246-5
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028


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