Revisiting the Sociotechnical Principles for System Design (Clegg, 2000)

  • Patrick WatersonEmail author
  • Ken Eason
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


In this paper we reflect upon and re-examine the impact of one of the most influential papers in recent years in the field of sociotechnical systems design (Clegg, 2000). In particular, we look at the influence the paper has had upon a diverse range of researchers (e.g., citation patterns, the extent to which the ideas in the paper have been taken up by disciplines outside of human factors/ergonomics); carry out an evaluation of the extent to which the STS principles have stood the test of time and areas where they may need to be modified in the light of new developments within systems ergonomics (e.g., complexity theory, cybernetics), technology (e.g., the internet of things, automation and robotics) and wider society (e.g., globalization, climate change). The paper concludes with a section covering the future of STS and potential ways in which the principles could be taken forward and modified in order to cope with new developments in human factors/ergonomics and elsewhere.


Sociotechnical systems Complexity System design 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Factors and Complex Systems GroupLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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