Socio-Technical Communities: From Informal to Formal?

Socio-Technical Communities: From Informal to Formal?

Isa Jahnke (Dortmund University of Technology, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch811


The chapter describes an empirical study of a socio-technical community—as an extended part of an institution— with the aim of revealing its changing processes. One hypothesis is that structures of socio-technical communities evolve from being less defined and informal to being more formal structures supported by evolving social control mechanisms, regulations and rules. The focus is the new emerging forms of sociotechnical relationships. It is argued that the more established a socio-technical system is on the societal level, the more regulations will be developed which are enforced first by surveillance and social sanctions, and finally by technical determination. This chapter illustrates how socio-technical networks evolve in this direction under certain conditions.

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