April 17 was the fifteenth meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario. The registration was on Eventbrite.
Two pages shared at the April 17 session are posted on the Coevolving Innovations publications site.
Theme: Systems Thinking and Social Relations
The Tavistock Institute for Human Relations was a major institution in the history of systems thinking. The rich legacy of the period 1941 to 1989 was edited in a three volume set of The Social Engagement of Social Science: A Tavistock Anthology [archives at moderntimesworkplace.com]:
- Volume I: The Socio-Psychological Perspective [manuscripts at moderntimesworkplace.com]
- Volume II: The Socio-Technical Systems Perspective [manuscripts at moderntimesworkplace.com]
- Volume III: The Socio-Ecological Perspective [manuscripts at moderntimesworkplace.com]
While many organization scientists focus on the socio-technical systems perspective, the socio-psychological perspective and socio-ecological perspective coevolved out of field work and theory development. The sequential publication of three volumes, coinciding with the publication of a series of articles, was not sequential fundings, but instead associated with the types of field work that the researchers were conducting and reporting with their engagements.
This Systems Thinking Ontario session will discuss the three perspectives as a whole.
Two articles are suggested as background for discussion.
In 2012, a group of systems thinker focused on these perspectives, culminating to a report:
- Takala, Ing, Emery, Hammond and Metcalf, ”Revisiting the Socio-ecological, Socio-technical and Socio-psychological Perspectives”, IFSR Conversations 2012 at http://www.ifsr.org/index.php/team-1-revisiting-the-socio-ecological-socio-technical-and-socio-psychological-perspectives-ifsr-conversations-2012/ (or printable from http://coevolving.com/commons/201209-revisiting-the-socio-ecological-social-technical-and-socio-psychological-perspectives ); and
A prominent researcher in the field, Eric Trist, provided a summary of the socio-technical systems perspective when he was at York University, working with the Ontario Ministry of Labour in the early 1980s.
- Eric Trist, "The evolution of socio-technical systems: a conceptual framework and an action research program", Ontario Ministry of Labour 1980 at http://web.archive.org/web/20120118074350/http://stsroundtable.com/wiki/Reference:Evolution_of_socio-technical_systems .
Diligent researchers may be interested in the 1992 interview of Eric Trist at 83 years old by Stuart Winby (HP) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEMaSTOrqBA.
Participants should not feel limited to this suggested pre-reading, but should recognize that other attendees may have not read, or are reading differently, that article.