Through this chapter we provide an overview of the sociotechnical premise: the mutual constitution of people and technologies. The sociotechnical premise and its various approaches, including the seminal work of the Tavistock scholars, the Nordic and Scandic approaches, and their evolution, are developed as the historical basis of this work. In the chapter we also cover the role of sociological thinking, the contributions of science and technology studies and social construction/social shaping of technology, actor network theories, and contemporary approaches. The chapter concludes with a cursory review of current debates around economic sociology, multidimensional networks and advancing our current conceptualization of the digital artifact.
The sociotechnical premise
Through this chapter we introduce and explain the sociotechnical premise relative to the study of information systems (IS). The sociotechnical premise can be articulated as: (1) the mutual constitution of people and technologies (and, specifically, digital technologies1); (2) the contextual embeddedness of this mutuality; and, (3) the importance of collective action. Some readers will value this chapter for its breadth of coverage . Established sociotechnical scholars will likely thirst for more advanced discussions than what we provide here. Some readers will value the material in this chapter for identifying particular debates, current themes or emerging approaches. We see this as a special opportunity and focus on these topics at the chapter’s end
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