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Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2017 14:14:23 +0200
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ECIS 2018 - 26th European Conference on Information System
 "Beyond Digitization - Facets of Socio-Technical Change", 23rd-28th, June,
2018, at University of Portsmouth, UK
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Track on "Sociotechnical Change: a Dialectic Among Individuals,
Technologies and Social Contexts"


The theme of this Conference highlights how IS professionals and
researchers are constantly required to engage with an agenda to facilitate
change in organized human activities. In the 21st Century, digital technologies
have enabled fundamental changes to be wrought throughout society,
affecting us all. When contemplating these changes, it is important that we
remember that technologies change nothing in isolation from the endeavours
of people, generating creative ideas and harnessing technological
developments in design of purposeful systems (Vickers, 1965; Alvesson and
Spicer, 2012). A sociotechnical approach in research ensures that such a
perspective is maintained (Mumford and Weir, 1979; Baxter and Sommerville,
2011). Mohr and van Amelsvoort (2016, p.2) have defined a modern,
approach to comprise: "The participative, multidisciplinary study and
improvement of how jobs, single organizations, networks, and ecosystems
function internally and in relation to their environmental context, with a
special focus on the mutual interactions of the entity’s ... value-creation

Designers inquire into potential use of Informing Systems –what do ‘users’
need to be informed about? They also commonly engage with usability factors
– what performance criteria must a system satisfy? However, insufficient
attention is sometimes paid to usefulness for particular people in context
– why do they wish to interact with a system, and how can it afford them
meaningful action within a mesh of intentional activities they engage in
within their working lives (Cabiza and Simone, 2012)? Developers need scope
and methods to help them support people to participate in design of their
own systems (Eason, 2008). By surfacing their unique experience of work
context, people can embark on a process of co-creation that will support
design of useful systems – those which afford the best support for
meaningful work (Ciborra, 2004). They can also achieve a greater awareness
of mutual dependencies among people interacting with technologies in their
collective work activities. Few people define their work roles as ‘users of
IS’, but rather as architects, accountants, social workers, buyers, tour
guides, teachers, etc. (Nissen, 2002). Everybody who will engage with an
Information System can contribute to good design through opportunities to
participate in shaping it for meaningful use in their ECIS 2018 Track
02 "Beyond
Digitization - Facets of Socio-Technical Change", 23rd-28th, June, 2018, at
University of Portsmouth, UK, for the 26th European Conference on
Information Systems own professional context (Bednar and Welch, 2009). We
can discern a symbiotic relationship between meaningful use and
reflection-upon-use by individuals and groups in context (Bednar and Welch,
2007), forming productive learning spirals for purposeful, sociotechnical
change. Contributions are invited that illuminate this relationship. These
could be drawn from any aspect of IS use or inquiry, e.g. design research
(Duffy, 2005); health and medicine (Carayon, 2012); effective and ethical
use of AI (Stahl, et al, 2014); software engineering (Sommerville, 2011);
sustainable systems (Dwyer, 2011).

*Invited contributions: full research papers and research in progress
papers. *

*Topics of interest:*

   - Critically-informed sociotechnical approaches to organizational change
   - Relationships between Lean and sociotechnical approaches
   - Dynamics of work groups and their impact on system design
   - Leadership and organizational learning
   - Participatory design
   - Systems theory in design
   - Organizational anthropology
   - Appreciative systems and Weltanshauungen
   - The socialised enterprise
   - Inter-organizational communication and culture
   - Sociotechnical approaches to IS access and security
   - Sociotechnical perspectives on Systems Failure
   - Interconnected Human Activity Systems and Organizational Learning
   - Soft Systems Thinking
   - Contemporary Sociotechnical theory and practice
   - Sustainable organizational change and routinization of habits
   - Continuous re-design of interconnected human activity systems
   - Contextually dependent IS diversity
   - Slow Computing practices
   - Sociotechnical practices and thinking in industrial and public sectors
   - How IS affords meaningful action in relation to goal-oriented

*Important dates*
Paper Submission deadline: November 27th 2017
Notification of acceptance: February 14th, 2018
ECIS 2018 Conference: June 23rd -28th, 2018


*Author Guidelines:*

Please refer to the ECIS 2018 page where guidelines and templates are
available in the main conference Web site (*
All submissions accepted for presentation at ECIS 2018 will be published in
the AIS library where also the proceedings of previous years are stored ( The proceedings are included in the main
indexes and search engines.ation Systems) will be taken into consideration
for a fast-track submission.

*Publishing Opportunities in Leading Journals: *

One possibility is The "*Journal of Strategic Information Systems*" where
the editor in chief Bob Galliers is sympathetic to sociotechnical ideas and
methods, and there is a potential for a special issue in this area. There
is a potential to get published in the "*Computer Supported Cooperative
Work*" (CSCW) journal and we believe that having papers published in this
Journal would be possible if they bring a critical and constructive
perspective on ST and their quality is good. A further potential to get
published is in the form of a special issue of the "*International Journal
of Systems **and Society*" (IJSS) where the editor Frank Stowell has
expressed support for the idea of a potential special issue with good
quality papers. "*IT & People*" is also a potential opportunity as it is a
journal which has previously had special issues with a focus on
Socio-Technical Approaches.


*List of the Track Associate Editors:*

Please see the PDF in attachments for the complete list of the Track
Associate Editors.

*ECIS Track 02 Co-Chairs:*
Christine Welch - Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, UK
Federico Cabitza - Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy
Angela Locoro - Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy

*Related readings*

   - Alvesson M & Spicer A (2012). A Stupidity-Based Theory of
   Organizations. JMS, 49(7), 1194–1220.
   - Baxter G. and Sommerville I (2011). Socio-technical systems.
   Interacting with Computers, 23(1), 4–17.
   - Bednar P and Welch C (2007). ‘A double helix metaphor for use and
   usefulness in Informing Systems’, Informing
   - Science Journal: Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, Vol. 10
   Monograph, Use and Redesign in IS: Double Helix
   - Relationships? H-E Nissen, P. Bednar and C. Welch, (editors), pp
   - Bednar P and Welch C (2009). ‘Contextual Inquiry and Requirements
   Shaping’. In Barry, C., Conboy, K., Lang, M.,
   - Wojtkowski, G., and Wojtkowski, W. (eds). The Inter-Networked World:
   ISD Theory, Practice, and Education:
   - Volume 1, pp. 225-236. Springer-Verlag: New York
   - Bonchek M (2013). Little Data Makes Big Data More Powerful. HBR Blog,
   11:00 AM May 3, 2013,
   - Cabitza F and Simone C (2012). Affording mechanisms: an integrated
   view of coordination and knowledge
   - management. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 21(2-3),
   - Carayon P (2012). Sociotechnical systems approach to healthcare
   quality and patient safety. Work, 41, 3850-3854.
   - Ciborra C (2004). ‘Encountering Information Systems as a Phenomenon’,
   in Avgerou C., Ciborra C. and Land F. eds.
   - The Social Study of Information and Communication Technology, Oxford
   University Press.
   - Duffy F (2005). Research, practice and architectural knowledge, RIBA
   Research Symposium 2005: Design as
   - Research, Paper 1.
   - Dwyer C (2011). "Socio-technical Systems Theory and Environmental
   Sustainability, Proceedings of SIG Green
   - Workshop. Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 11(3) n.p.
   accessed at
   - Eason K (2008). Sociotechnical systems theory in the 21st Century:
   another half-filled glass? in Sense in Social
   - Science, D. Graves (ed), Broughton, 2008 pp 123-134.
   - Giddens A (1976). New Rules of Sociological Method, London: Hutchinson.
   - Mohr B J and van Amelsvoort P (2016). Co-Creating Humane and
   Innovative Organizations: Evolutions in the
   - Practice of Socio-technical System Design. Portland ME: Global STS-D
   Network Press.
   - Mumford M and Weir M (1979). Computer systems in work design – the
   ETHICS method. New York: Wiley.
   - Myers M and Klein H.K (2011). A Set of Principles for Conducting
   Critical Research in Information Systems. MISQ.
   - Sommerville I (2011). Software Engineering 9. Harlow: Pearson.
   - Stahl B C; McBride N; Flick C and Wakunuma K (2014). The Empathic Care
   Robot, in Technological Forecasting
   - and Social Change, G. Graham A. Greenhill V. Callaghan and D. Aikat
   (eds). 84, 74-85.
   - Stein M-K; Galliers R. and Whitley E.A (2016). Twenty years of the
   European information systems academy at ECIS:
   - emergent trends and research topics. EJIS 25(1), 1-15.
   - Vickers G (1965). The Art of Judgment: A Study of Policy Making. SAGE

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