MIS Research Seminar “Living in a Technosociety: Sociotechnical Systems to The Core” by Richard Baskerville – Georgia State University & Curtin University

August 6, 2019

09 September 2019Online event in Lille & Paris
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Richard Baskerville 

Georgia State University and Curtin University

Date and Location

Monday, September 9th, 2019 – 14:00 – 16:00

Visioconference: Paris (P400) and Lille (B252)


Long the dominion of science fiction writers, technosociety is the inevitable result of digitalization. Digitalization (or digitization) of society represents the increasing presence of computer-based technologies as part of everyday experience. As information technologies have migrated from their initial organizational settings out to, and throughout society, they carry along to a broader context much of the underlying organizational principles and theories developed for organizational information systems. This presentation is a conceptual exploration of one possible reorientation of these principles and theories based on a prominent and fundamental information systems concept: sociotechnical systems. Should we instead consider the technosocial? The core idea of the sociotechnical systems view is enduring: one cannot understand technology independently of its interaction with its social context. Similarly, one cannot understand a social setting independently of its interaction with its technology. These two subsystems must be understood holistically. But the subsystems of the sociotechnical and the technosocial are the same!How can these be different? Technosocial is unlike the original sociotechnical systems conceptualization, which was mainly concerned with actions such as work design within an organization with a focus on effective outcomes of both the organization’s social and technical subsystems. Technosocial action aims to affect systems that are outside of the organization: at its customers, at its suppliers, at its community. Its orientation is toward affecting the increasingly complex ecosystem of which the organization is but one element. Given that this ecosystem also comprises the technosociety, technosocial activity is most often oriented toward producing effects on the technosociety in the ecosystem. There is great potential value in more research into adapting the sociotechnical ideas to provide more direct effects in the technosociety-ecosystem rather than continuing to apply these ideas just within organizational subsystems.

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