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A Neurobiological Perspective on Socio-Technical Systems
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in IS Development (STPIS'15) / [ed] S. Kowalski, P. Bednar, I. Bider, CEUR Workshop Proceedings ( , 2015, 56-68 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Socio-Technical Systems approach assumes that an organizational work system can be seen as two independent but tightly correlated systems – a technical one and a social one. Together, these systems determine the performance of the work system. However, in spite of decades of research efforts, it is far from clear how to define these systems. Without a firm basis, analytical and constructive initiatives are bound to become either fragmented or ad-hoc. To this end, the purpose of this paper is to suggest a neurobiological perspective on Socio-Technical Systems. The reason for this seemingly odd point of departure is quite simple: any conceptualization of Socio-Technical Systems must ultimately take stock of the sine qua non of our existence as biological creatures. A fundamental prerequisite for survival is coordination – without coordination, acting in the world is inhibited. Based on many years of coordinating complex system development tasks in industry, I have proposed the construct of activity modalitiesobjectivation, contextualization, spatialization, temporalization, stabilization, and transition – as intrinsic neural predispositions enabling coordination. This position is elaborated into a particular kind of work system, called the activity domain. In the activity domain, individual lines of actions are fit together using means such as IT artifacts and common identifiers to achieve a common goal. Actions are manifested internally as changed brain structures in individuals, and externally as various artifacts reflecting the modalities. In conclusion, I claim that this approach indicates a paradigm shift, which may provide a solid ground for further inquiries into the analysis and construction of Socio-Technical Systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CEUR Workshop Proceedings ( , 2015. 56-68 p.
Keyword [en]
Socio-Technical Systems, work systems, coordination, neurobiology, activity modalities, functional organs, equipment, joint action, common identifiers, activity domain
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120082OAI: diva2:840046
1st International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in IS Development (STPIS'15)
Available from: 2015-07-06 Created: 2015-07-06 Last updated: 2015-09-09

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Taxén, Lars
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