Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Contextual inquiry and socio-technical practice

Contextual inquiry and socio-technical practice Purpose– During discussions at the ASC 2013 Conference, the authors were stimulated to consider acting, learning and understanding in the context of organizational change, and in particular the relationship between organizational actors and external analysts. The purpose of this paper is to review from a cybernetic perspective how a socio-technical toolbox can help to facilitate organizational change, and to examine issues involved in use of such a toolbox by organizational actors supported by expert analysts. Design/methodology/approach– The paper is conceptual and adopts a critical stance, i.e. to provide support for emancipation of individuals through ownership and control of their own analyses. Findings– Drawing on work by e.g. Bateson, the authors consider organizations as dynamic and complex human activity systems, and how actors can be helped to develop a productive learning “spiral” of acting and reflecting by means of a proposed socio-technical toolbox. Acting and reflecting upon action can be seen to form a “double helix” of learning, leading to richer understandings of contextual dependencies. Engaged actors need support to surface their contextually dependent understandings, individual and collectively and engage in a “dance of change”. Practical implications– Change is endemic in organizational life. When engaging with change activity that attempts to address complexity (as opposed to complicatedness), contextual experts need to be the key decision takers. This means a redistribution not only of responsibility and action but also decision-taking power. Originality/value– The paper suggests augmentation of traditional socio-technical methods to address dynamic complexity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Kybernetes Emerald Publishing

Contextual inquiry and socio-technical practice

Kybernetes , Volume 43 (9/10): 9 – Nov 3, 2014

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/contextual-inquiry-and-socio-technical-practice-mw7o9NbeRl

References (27)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0368-492X
DOI
10.1108/K-07-2014-0156
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– During discussions at the ASC 2013 Conference, the authors were stimulated to consider acting, learning and understanding in the context of organizational change, and in particular the relationship between organizational actors and external analysts. The purpose of this paper is to review from a cybernetic perspective how a socio-technical toolbox can help to facilitate organizational change, and to examine issues involved in use of such a toolbox by organizational actors supported by expert analysts. Design/methodology/approach– The paper is conceptual and adopts a critical stance, i.e. to provide support for emancipation of individuals through ownership and control of their own analyses. Findings– Drawing on work by e.g. Bateson, the authors consider organizations as dynamic and complex human activity systems, and how actors can be helped to develop a productive learning “spiral” of acting and reflecting by means of a proposed socio-technical toolbox. Acting and reflecting upon action can be seen to form a “double helix” of learning, leading to richer understandings of contextual dependencies. Engaged actors need support to surface their contextually dependent understandings, individual and collectively and engage in a “dance of change”. Practical implications– Change is endemic in organizational life. When engaging with change activity that attempts to address complexity (as opposed to complicatedness), contextual experts need to be the key decision takers. This means a redistribution not only of responsibility and action but also decision-taking power. Originality/value– The paper suggests augmentation of traditional socio-technical methods to address dynamic complexity.

Journal

KybernetesEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 3, 2014

There are no references for this article.