<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Things to know about stss

What is a socio-technical system? (sts)

A socio-technical system (=STS) is a tool to help a business anticipate and successfully resolve interdisciplinary business problems. "Interdisciplinary business problems" refer to problems where financial values are intertwined with technical, ethical, social, political, and cultural values. (Reference: Chuck Huff, Good Computing: A Virtue Approach to Computer Ethics, draft manuscript for Jones and Bartlett Publishers)

    Some things to know about stss

  1. Socio-Technical systems provide a tool to uncover the different environments in which business activity takes place and to articulate how these constrain and enable different business practices.
  2. A STS can be divided into different components such as hardware software, physical surroundings, people/groups/roles, procedures, laws/statutes/regulations, and information systems. Other components include the natural environment, markets, and political systems.
  3. But while different components can be distinguished, these are, in the final analysis, inseparable. Socio-Technical Systems are first and foremost systems : their components are interrelated and interact so that a change in one often produces changes that reverberate through the system.
  4. Socio-Technical systems embody moral values such as justice, responsibility, respect, trust, and integrity as well as non-moral values such as efficiency, satisfaction, productivity, effectiveness, and profitability. Often these values can be located in one or more of the system components. Often they conflict with one another causing the system as a whole to change.
  5. STSs change, and this change traces out a path or trajectory. The normative challenge here is to bring about and direct changes that place the STS on a value-positive trajectory. In the final analysis, we study STS to make sure that they change in a value-realizing direction.

Constituents or sub-environments of business activity

    Paragraph summary of sub-environments of business followed by a table devoted to each one.

  • Technology including hardware, software, designs, prototypes, products, or services. Examples of engineering projects in Puerto Rico are provided in the PR STS grid. In the Therac-25 case, the hardware is the double pass accelerator, in Hughes the analogue-to-digital integrated circuits, and in Machado the UNIX software system and the computers in the UCI laboratories that are configured by this system. Because technologies are structured to carry out the intentions of their designers, they embed values.
  • Physical Surroundings . Physical surroundings can also embed values. Doors, by their weight, strength, material, size, and attachments (such as locks) can promote values such as security. Physical surroundings promote, maintain, or diminish other values in that they can permit or deny access, facilitate or hinder speech, promote privacy or transparency, isolate or disseminate property, and promote equality or privilege.
  • People, Groups, and Roles . This component of a STS has been the focus of traditional stakeholder analyses. A stakeholder is any group or individual which has an essential or vital interest in the situation at hand. Any decision made or design implemented can enhance, maintain, or diminish this interest or stake. So if we consider Frank Saia a decision-maker in the Hughes case, then the Hughes corporation, the U.S. Air Force, the Hughes sub-group that runs environmental tests on integrated circuits, and Hughes customers would all be considered stakeholders.
  • Procedures . How does a company deal with dissenting professional opinions manifested by employees? What kind of due process procedures are in place in your university for contesting what you consider to be unfair grades? How do researchers go about getting the informed consent of those who will be the subjects of their experiments? Procedures set forth ends which embody values and legitimize means which also embody values.
  • Laws, statutes, and regulations all form essential parts of STSs. This would include engineering codes as well as the state or professional organizations charged with developing and enforcing them
  • The final category can be formulated in a variety of ways depending on the specific context. Computing systems gather, store, and disseminate information. Hence, this could be labeled data and data storage structure . (Consider using data mining software to collect information and encrypted and isolated files for storing it securely.) In engineering, this might include the information generated as a device is implemented, operates, and is decommissioned. This information, if fed back into refining the technology or improving the design of next generation prototypes, could lead to uncovering and preventing potential accidents. Electrical engineers have elected to rename this category, in the context of power systems, rates and rate structures.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Business ethics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 04, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10491/1.11
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Business ethics' conversation and receive update notifications?