Annual Symposium - Rebooting the Role of Sociotechnical Perspectives in a hyper-connected, digitised society

When: 27th Oct 2017, 09:00 - 27th Oct 2017, 17:00
Where: BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA
Town/City: London
Organiser: BCS Sociotechnical Specialist Group
Price: £10 (BCS Members) £20 (General Public)
Further Information: Further Information


The Sociotechnical Specialist Group of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT has the pleasure to invite all its members and society at large to our first annual symposium. The event will provide an opportunity to interact with leading researchers in the field of sociotechnical systems and related areas. The symposium will be interactive and comprise keynote talks and panel discussions examining the role of sociotechnical perspectives in a hyper-connected, digitised society. Invited keynote speakers are:

Prof. Niels Bjørn-Andersen
Copenhagen Business School

‘The origin of Socio-Technical Information Systems Research in Scandinavia’

Socio-Technical IS research in Europe was founded by Enid Mumford, who applied the learnings from general S/T research within industry and coalmines to the IS/office context. The presentation will take its starting point in her early work (philosophy, methodology and tools), and it will be discussed how this learning was applied in a Scandinavian context. The challenges and conflicts with the so-called political school and the scientific IS school will be presented. One important issue for the S/T researcher was the inherent conflict between the humanistic and democratic ideal, which became a major practical issue. The presentation will end with some ideas for a reinvention of the Socio-Technical research, which seems more important than ever.

Dr. Niels Bjørn-Andersen is Emeritus Professor of Business IT at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), where he also served as director of the ‘Center for e-Business’ from 1998 -2005, and as director of ‘Center for Enterprise Systems’ from 2005 -2011. He has more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, 25 books and more than 200 other publications. After his PhD, he started Socio-Technical research especially with Enid Mumford, a collaboration that lasted more than ten years. Later he has carried out collaborative research with organizations like CISCO, Heineken, IBM, Microsoft and SAP especially as regards topics like IT governance, E-business, ERP-systems, IT for inter-organisational trade, and IT for M&As. He has been the recipient of more than 20 external research grants predominantly from EU research bodies. He was president of AIS in 1996, has been awarded the AIS-LEO award, and was knighted by the queen of Denmark in 2003.

Prof. Angela Sasse
University College London

‘If security doesn't work for people, it doesn't work’

Traditionally, security experts have treated people as components whose behaviour can be controlled by policies and mechanisms - ignoring knowledge from decades of socio-technical systems research. In  "Users Are Not The Enemy", co-authored with PhD student Anne Adams and published in 1999, we demonstrated the devasting consequences of this ignorance: frustrated users faced with impossible demands bypass security and consider it pain-in-the-neck, while organisational resources are wasted and performance reduced. I will present results from RISCS projects to show how STS approaches - user- and value-sensitive design, engagement and co-creation - lead to more effective solutions. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) now has a 10-strong team advising UK organisations on this approach; their revised the guidance shifts the responsibility for passwords away from individual users, and prohibits the widely used but highly disrespectful "Users are the weakest link" slogan.

M. Angela Sasse FREng is the Professor of Human-Centred Technology in the Department of Computer Science at University College London, UK. A usability researcher by training, she started investigating the causes and effects of usability issues with security mechanisms in 1996. She has developed human-centred frameworks that explain how people think about security, privacy, identity and trust their interactions with technology. She has been the Director of the multidisciplinary UK Research Institute for Science of Cyber Security (RISCS) since its inception in 2012, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2015.

Prof. Tokil Clemmensen

‘Sociotechnical HCI: Reflections on Topics and Theories’

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) builds on the ideology of empowering the end-users of computers, so that they understand what is happening and can control the outcome (Nielsen, 2005). How does that work for HCI in organisations and societies? While HCI historically has been based on applying cognitive psychology to understand the individual user (Card, Moran, & Newell, 1983), one strong trend in modern and contemporary HCI is to study applications in business, managerial, organisational, and cultural contexts. To design HCI for organisations, the big thing may be to do some kind of HCI design action research that constructs or modifies one or more HCI artefacts within their existing organisational contexts: sketches, prototypes, templates, running systems - anything that changes the interactions that managers and employees do and experience. Hence, the future topics and theory of HCI may indeed be socio-technical.

Torkil Clemmensen is a Professor mso at Department of IT Management, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. His interest is in Human-Computer Interaction, in particular psychology as a science of design. The focus of his research is on cultural psychological perspectives on usability and user experience. As chair of International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP), TC Human-Computer Interaction’s Working Group 13.6 on Human Work Interaction Design (HWID) 2008-2014, and currently vice-chair, he co-organises a series of international workshops and working conferences on work analysis and usability/user experiences in organisational, human, social and cultural contexts.

Members of the BCS Sociotechnical Specialist Group will also give talks and join the discussion panel (see program for more detail)





Registration and Coffee


Welcome talk from BCS Sociotechnical Group

Prof. David Wastell, Nottingham University


‘‘If security doesn't work for people, it doesn't work’

Prof. Angela Sasse, University College London


Coffee and Biscuits


‘Nurses Acceptance of Health Information Technology’

Dr Ip-Shing Fan, Cranfield University


Panel 1: Ken Eason (Loughborough University), Angela Sasse, Ip-Shing Fan



1:15pm - 2:00pm

‘The origin of Socio-Technical Information Systems Research in Scandinavia’

Prof. Niels Bjørn-Andersen, Copenhagen Business School

2:00pm -2:45pm

‘Sociotechnical Case Studies with SMEs in Portsmouth’

Dr. Peter Bednar, Portsmouth University


Coffee and Biscuits


‘Sociotechnical HCI: Reflections on Topics and Theories’

Prof. Torkil Clemmensen, Copenhagen Business School

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Panel 2: Niels Bjørn-Andersen, Peter Bednar and Torkil Clemmensen

4:30pm - 5:00pm

Day’s key learning points and Open Discussion - The Role of Sociotechnical Perspectives in a hyper-connected, digitised society

Dr. José Abdelnour-Nocera, University of West London/ IT University of Copenhagen