Digital Sociotechnical System Design

Stu Winby (Spring) and Sue Mohrman, Ph.D. (CEO)
May 2018

Digital platforms increasingly are dictating how work is carried out, breaking down boundaries between companies, geographies, customers, and other stakeholders and participants, and determining who will benefit from advancing technology. Existing organization design frameworks do not adequately address the new reality where both the technical and social elements of the full ecosystem need to be designed. Work is no longer carried out within a bounded organization, and individual organizations can no longer be the focus of design. Building on both the traditional sociotechnical systems framework and strategic organization design frameworks, we propose a digital sociotechnical systems design approach. It involves multiple stakeholders and participants in codesigning the digital system and the social system at the ecosystem level. A case example from healthcare is described and discussed.


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