Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators

Description:

Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators

Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators

This handbook provides researchers and students with an overview of the field of sustainability indicators (SIs) as applied in the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development. The editors have sought to include views from the center ground of SI development but also divergent ideas which represent some of the diverse, challenging and even edgy observations which are prominent in the wider field of SI thinking.

Edited by: Simon Bell, Stephen Morse
© 2018 – Routledge

Available from: https://www.routledge.com

Health care for all: effective, community supported, healthcare with innovative use of telemedicine technology

Abstract:

Almost half of the world’s total population reside in rural and remote areas and a large number of these people remain deprived of most basic facilities like healthcare and education. It is deemed impossible for government with scarce resources in developing countries to open and run a health facility in every remote community using conventional means. One increasingly popular unconventional mean is the use of existing technology to improve exchange of medical information for the purpose of improving health of underprivileged communities. Telemedicine implies the use of information and communication technology to provide health care remotely from a distance. With the induction of telemedicine, patients who live in rural and remote areas can have increased access to medical services. In many developing countries, use of telemedicine however has been limited mainly to teleconferencing between primary and secondary/tertiary care facilities for diagnosis and management of patients. This system still requires patients from remote communities to travel, often long and arduous journeys to the centre where telecom and medical facilities are available. Health Care 4 All International, a not for profit registered charity is providing primary care to patients by taking telemedicine into their homes in remote communities, thus obviating the need and hardships of travel for patient.

Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice Link

Tariq Kazim ShahEmail author, Tasneem Tariq, Roger Phillips, Steve Davison, Adam Hoare, Syed Shahzad Hasan and Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice201811:3

https://doi.org/10.1186/s40545-018-0130-5

Putting Social Science to Work

Social Science Theory and Use Case Studies Organisations Britain Germany

Book: Putting Social Science to Work

The Ground between Theory and Use Explored through Case Studies in Organisations

In this book, Lisl Klein and Ken Eason look at the various issues involved when attempts are made to make use of the theories, methods and findings of the social sciences in practical affairs. They consider how human and social considerations may be successfully integrated with technical and economic ones in the design and development of organisations at work.

Their study is both empirical and theoretical. Its core is the examination of fourteen case studies from manufacturing and service organisations in Britain and Germany. The various projects were carried out by units within the organisations themselves, by university departments, commercial consultants and an independent research institute. Outside the field of organisations the the authors consider the background and strategies of a number of individual practitioners, and also an attempt at national level (in Germany) to make systematic use of research. Their study is informed by their own extensive experience as researchers and practitioners of social science.

The book concludes with a discussion of what contributes to successful practice. Its findings will be invaluable to all social scientists interested in the application of their disciplines as well as to potential clients in the world of business and industry.

Published in 1991 the book remains relevant to contemporary issues of social science utilisation in organisations. It recognises the challenges of the social science practitioner in engaging with varied and complex dynamics within organisations. Further, that the goal of behaviour change is not well served by “packaged” approaches but must begin with the current situation in action. The case studies resonate with current attempts to introduce technology into the workplace and the recognition that the social context of behaviour change plays a key role.

KLEIN, L. & EASON, K.D. (1991) Putting Social Science to Work. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Representing Socio-Technical Systems Options in the Development of New Forms of Work Organization

Abstract:

It is widely accepted that effective implementation of new technology into work organizations needs an integrative approach in which developments in both technical and social systems are considered. Furthermore, success depends upon the effective participation of significant stakeholders in this process. This article reviews the methods available for this purpose and concludes that a particular weakness is the methods that can be used to generate and review socio-technical system opportunities early in the development process. Whilst methods exist to support stakeholder participation at this stage, they need to represent future socio-technical opportunities if they are to make an effective contribution. This article presents the ORDIT (Organizational Requirements Definition for Information Technology Systems) methodology, which uses responsibility modelling as a basis for constructing socio-technical systems opportunities. The application of telemedicine in health care is presented as a case study to demonstrate how this method can be used to construct and evaluate socio-technical scenarios.

Socio-technical Systems Work Organisational Development Information Technology

Publication at Taylor and Francis Online

Eason K.D. Harker S.D.P. and Olphert C.W. (1996) Representing Socio-Technical Systems Options in the Development of New Forms of Work Organization. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 5(3) 399-420

DOI Link

Before the Internet: The Relevance of Socio-technical Systems Theory to Emerging Forms of Virtual Organisation

Abstract:

Virtual organisations, in which the technology mediates the interactions in the social system, are an emergent form of socio-technical system. This chapter reviews the concepts and techniques of the 50 years of socio-technical systems theory development that preceded the internet to examine their relevance for the study of the virtual organisation. It first examines the socio-technical system concept of work organisation in relation to the quality of working life and relates these issues to contemporary forms of virtual organisation. It then examines work organisations as open systems and explores the implications of task interdependencies for the delivery of operational work. It questions whether socio-technical concepts are appropriate for emergent forms of virtual social community and concludes that many socio-technical characteristics are also likely to be found in these forms of organisation. The chapter then examines the implications of a technology that mediates communications between people in the social system. It concludes with a plea that we go beyond the design of technical systems to support virtual organisations and, in the tradition of socio-technical systems research, concern ourselves with the joint design of the social and technical components of virtual organisations.

The Emergence Of Virtual Organisations

We may define virtual organisations as enterprises in which people engage in a collective mission remotely from one another through the medium of information and communication technologies. Some enterprises started as virtual organisations in order to exploit the capabilities offered by the internet, i.e. they have never existed as ‘bricks and mortar’ organisations where staff worked and customers visited. In the commercial world, Amazon and eBay are examples of such organisations and in the social networking world, FaceBook and Twitter have developed in a similar way. The majority of organisations, however, originally operated and offered their services from physical premises and may be on a journey to becoming progressively more virtual. Several authors have used maturity models to define the stages through which organisations tend to pass as they become more virtual.

 

Knowledge Development and Social Change through Technology

IGI Global Publication Link

EASON K.D. Before the Internet: The Relevance of Socio-technical Systems Theory to Emerging Forms of Virtual Organisation, International Journal of Sociotechnology and Knowledge Development, April-June 1, 2 23-32

 

The National Health Service National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT): A Socio-technical Systems Perspective

From the book ‘Integrating Healthcare with Information and Communication Technology’ addressing the National Programme for Information Technology in the NHS

The book ‘Integrating healthcare with information and communication technology’ presents a collection of essays that discusses a set of challenges that arise when attempts are made to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into health care services. By exploring the outcomes of the National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT) in the NHS in England the book attempts to learn from experience. It recognises that interoperable information systems are paramount for efficient integrated care, and contributions to explore ICT in the ongoing transformation processes towards seamless care should be of importance for the integrated care community.

The book consists of eleven chapters and the book is organised into three parts: Transforming Health Care Services using ICT, Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Global ICT Adoption and Implementation in Health Care. This national programme offered a wealth of learning about user-centred design, action research, understanding the intent of technology development and the impact of technology interoperability. The value of such learning is that by understanding where the approach was successful and not so successful future programmes could be better designed.

Information and Communications Technology National Programme for Information Technology NPfIT

Review in the International Journal of Integrated Care

Link to Amazon Listing

EASON K.D. The National Health Service National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT): A Socio-technical Systems Perspective. In Currie W. and Finnegan D. (eds) ‘Integrating healthcare with information and communications technology’ Radcliffe, Oxford 183-204

Socio-Technical Theory and Work Systems in the Information Age

Book chapter entitled ‘Socio-technical theory and work systems in the information age’

This chapter of the book set the traditional focus of socio-technical systems theory on primary work systems in modern context where information and communication technology (ICT) has a major influence in the way work is undertaken. The chapter begins with a summary of the original work of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and critically reviews the major concepts to emerge from these studies. This is followed by a review of recent studies of the impact of ICT on work systems and how socio-technical systems are used to interpret these findings. Finally, concepts and methods of designing and implementing customisable and generic ICT systems in organisations. The authors call for a recognition and evaluation of socio-techcial systems as never completed but evolving over time; placing an emphasis on the emergent behaviour resulting from the use of new technical systems.

“Technology presumes there’s just one right way to do things and there never is.”

– Robert M. Pirsig

Socio-technical theory design networking systems

Google Books Link

EASON K. AND ABDELNOUR-NOCERA J. Socio-technical theory and work systems in the information age. In Whitworth B. and de Moor A. (eds) ‘Handbook of research on socio-technical design and social networking systems’ Information Science Reference, Hershey New York 65-77

Information Technology and Organisational Change

A book addressing the need to consider technical and organisational change as a system in the implementation of information technology

The Preface for this book published in 1988 was contemporary and on reflection, nearly thirty years later, still applicable in many ways today to implementation of information technology. It opens:

It is widely acknowledged that information technology will revolutionise organisational life. And yet if you look at most organisations you will find that the pace of change is slow and that there is not much sign of a revolution. In many organisations expensive equipment seems to be making very little contribution to the goals of the enterprise. It seems that suppliers are always in the midst of editing new technological breakthroughs whilst potential user organisations are still trying to assimilate yesterday’s technology. The pace of technological development poses the end user with the perpetual headache of trying to decide what is worth using and how to use it.

Ken wrote – of nearly twenty years as one of the founders of the HUSAT research centre, I have been working with my colleagues to understand the difficulties people encounter when trying to harness information technology and then to build tools and techniques which will help them in the process. As information has advanced the methodologies and tools for technical systems design have become progressively more sophisticated and efficient. By contrast the techniques by which uses can specify their needs, evaluate alternatives, implement systems, make complementary organisational changes etc. have hardly progressed at all. Most design methodologies pay scant attention to these issues. It is almost a truism to say that we need socio-technical systems design; the joint design of the technical and social sub-systems in the organisation. However, many forces keep the two processes apart. Technical design is the province of technologists who know little of social system design. Technical tools do not address this issue.Organisational change is the province of management but is seen as separate from technical change and ether are few tools to help the fusion of the two kinds of change.

Information Technology and Organisational Change Ken Eason

 

EASON, K.D. Information Technology and Organisational Change, (1988) Taylor & Francis, London.

Google Books Link

Amazon Link to Book

Other Publications in this Area:

Understanding Organisational Ramifications of Implementing Information Technology Systems

1966 and All That: Trends and Developments 1956-1974 within UK Ergonomics

Development of ergonomics in the UK between 1956 and 1974

Abstract:
The 1960s represents a key decade in the expansion of ergonomics within the UK. This paper reviews trends and developments that emerged out of the 1960s and compares these with ergonomics research and practice today. The focus in particular is on the expansion of ergonomics as a discipline within industry, as well as more specific topics, such as the emergence of areas of interest, for example, computers and technology, automation and systems ergonomics and consumer ergonomics. The account is illustrated with a detailed timeline of developments, a set of industrial case studies and the contents of important publications during the decade. A key aim of the paper is to provide the opportunity to reflect on the past and the implications this may have for future directions for ergonomics within the UK.

The paper provides practitioners with an insight into the development of ergonomics in the UK during one of the most important decades of its history. This is especially relevant given the fact that in 2009 the Ergonomics Society celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Introduction:

The quote from the Italian writer Italo Calvino was made during a debate held on ‘industry and literature’ at the beginning of the 1960s. Calvino sums up what were to become dominant themes in later accounts of the period, namely, the growth of automation and the increasing role played by technology within society. Both of these themes are important within ergonomics and continue today as sources of debate in research and practical applications of the subject. Similarly, many issues have declined in interest or relevance as compared to 40 years ago. Much has been written about the origins of ergonomics, alongside other discussions centred around pioneers within ergonomics and the future of the discipline (e.g. Frederic Bartlett). By comparison, little detailed information is available covering specific periods within the development of ergonomics. This paper focuses on the 1960s within UK ergonomics for a number of reasons. First, the 1960s can be seen as a mid-point between the immediate post-war roots and birth of ergonomics and its subsequent development into a fully fledged discipline. Second, during the 1960s, ergonomics became firmly established within industry and made firm steps towards closer engagement with civil, government and industrial users and practitioners. The late Brian Shackel (1927–2007), in a paper written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ergonomics within EMI, viewed the period as a bridge between earlier work on military ergonomics and a later focus on consumer ergonomics in the 1970s.

In 2009 the UK Ergonomics Society celebrates its 60th anniversary. It seems timely and appropriate to stand back and review trends and developments over the period and compare these with present day ergonomics.

Taylor and Francis Ergonomics Ken Eason developments 1956 1974 within uk ergonomics

Taylor and Francis Publication Link

WATERSON P. AND EASON K.D. 1966 and All That: Trends and Developments 1956-1974 within UK Ergonomics. Ergonomics 52(11) 1323-1341

Ergonomic Interventions in the Implementation of New Technical Systems

Opportunities for ergonomic and human factors in new technical systems

One of the most frequent sources of change in working life is the implementation of new technology. This can have many implications for the work system. There will be an immediate need for staff to acquire new skills and there may be potentially far-reaching effects on jobs and the way work is organised. There are many opportunities for ergonomic and human factors (E/HF) interventions, but what can be achieved depends on the way the new technology is implemented. This chapter examines the different strategies by which new technology is implemented into the workplace and their implications for E/HF interventions.

Technocentric Implementation Strategies

The prevailing approach to technical system implementation has bene described as ‘technocentric’ or ‘technology push’ (Balham 1993, Eason 1993). In this approach the objective is seen in entirely technical terms: to design or purchase a complete technical system, to install the equipment, get it ‘up and running’ and train the users in its correct usage. If therein recognition that there may be wider ramifications for the work system, this is often framed as ‘resistance to change’ on the part of the workforce and is to be overcome by such mechanisms as appointing ‘user champions’ to act as persuaders and using industrial relations procedures to deal with disputes.

Evaluation Human Work Ken Eason Ergonomics New Technical Systems

Google Books Link

Eason K.D. Ergonomic Interventions in the Implementation of New Technical Systems. In Wilson J. and Sharples S. (eds) Evaluation of Human Work 4th Edition, Taylor and Francis 837-853