Techno-Social Systems in Organisations

Dr Lesley Jolly
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The introduction of new electronic tools or alterations to existing ones can easily founder on user reluctance unless due consideration is given to how the technology fits into users' lives and meets their needs. This is a commonplace for technology developers yet all too often at the point of implementation, such factors are forced into second place by the glamour of the new. This paper discusses such a history in an industrial setting and describes how a team of engineers and social scientists applied a systems model to explaining the relevant cultural factors behind user reluctance in this case. The model describes the techno-social system in terms of dynamic tensions between the technology itself, the organisation of work in various settings within the company and the values, such as decisiveness, held by workers and promoted by the company. The model uncovered often unspoken and unacknowledged aspects of the nature of users' problems using a systems discourse that most engineers and technicians found it easy to relate to.

Keywords: Organisational Change, Socio-technic Systems, Organisational Culture
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Techno-Social Systems in Organisations

Dr Lesley Jolly

Lecturer, Behavioural Studies, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences; Catalyst Centre for Research in Society and Technology, School of Engineering., University of Queensland

Ref: T05P0003