Complementarist Approach to Categorize different Stakeholders within Socio-technical Systems
Keywords:Solar system model, Systems engineering, Socio-technical system, Stakeholder Categorization
Socio-technical systems is a systems approach to understanding complex systems when interactions between humans and technology are dominant. Thus, the term socio-technical relates to the relationship between complex human activity systems and the technical infrastructure that governs the nature of the system. Socio-technical systems typically have multiple stakeholders, either in charge of systemic development, governing the system, or being affected (directly or indirectly) by it. Thus, in order to understand a socio-technical system, it is important to understand the different roles the stakeholders have within the system of interest. This research contributes in providing a complementarist and pluralist approach in recognizing the roles of stakeholders within socio-technical systems and categorizing them by introducing a formative taxonomy flexible for any socio-technical system, dependent on its context and purpose. Critical systems thinking and boundary critique are utilized as a foundation for categorizing stakeholders, while the onion model along with soft system methodology are used to delineate the stratified spheres of influence each stakeholder category has on the system. Even though, the obligations vary across the different systems context and purposes, the proposed flexible approach is expected to be beneficial to system thinkers and analysts in realization, recognition and categorization of stakeholders within socio-technical systems.