A Meta-Analysis of the Direction and State of Sociotechnical Research in a Range of Disciplines: For Practitioners and Academics

A Meta-Analysis of the Direction and State of Sociotechnical Research in a Range of Disciplines: For Practitioners and Academics

Elayne Coakes (University of Westminster, UK) and Jim Coakes (University of Westminster, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/jskd.2009010101
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Abstract

This is the first in a series of articles providing a meta-analysis of journal articles using sociotechnical approaches as a dominant theme. In this article we look at the article repository Business Source Complete and two specific search terms: sociotechnology and sociotechnical, to extract relevant papers from 1968 onwards. We identify trends in publishing relevant articles which appear to show a revival of interest from the 1990s to date. It appears that this revival has been prompted by the expansion of large work systems and their frequent partial or complete failures which limit their usability in organisations. Using Content Analysis we have analysed 42 papers that discuss sociotechnical theory and its development and have found that the fields of application of the theory have shifted from human resources; to work design and operations management; to most recently, knowledge management and philosophy.

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