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Socio-technical System Design

Principles, topics, areas of activity and goals

Modern work involves structured interaction between humans and technology. We analyse these systems in a holistic way and research their interdependencies. In this manner, we create approaches for their humane design which we wish to present you with here.

A socio-technical system is an organised group of people plus the associated technologies which complete tasks in the scope of an organisation. Systems of this kind do not work in isolation from their environment, but receive inputs from it in the form of information, legal framework conditions and materials. For their part, they create specific material and non-material results in the form of information and products.

The goals of socio-technical system design

These results are not products of the individual sub-systems (technology, people), but are attributable to the interactions between these sub-systems. Based on this idea, the goal of socio-technical system design is the comprehensive consideration and joint design of all elements of a work system.

The field currently encompasses future oriented questions regarding the introduction of new technologies to the world of work. In this respect, for example, we examine the way in which new technologies affect factors surrounding the promotion of learning as well as human reliability, especially at the level of group-based work processes.
In addition to factors of good work design, a focus is made on the optimisation of the (psychological) strain of work, which can often only be addressed at the level of the overall work system. The content of this field of action is the continuous observation of the use of technology and its impact at the practical level.

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