Achieving sustainable business systems through sociotechnical perspectives

Moufida Sadok, Christine Welch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Organizations and their Information Systems (IS) co-evolve. It follows that a need for organizational sustainability (in every sense) must be reflected in IS design, management and use. Much public attention focuses on environmental sustainability, i.e. accounting for the impact that organizations have on the natural world and on communities, as a result of their business practices. However, many external impacts remain invisible, e.g. a stressed workforce makes greater calls upon the resources of healthcare systems. It is important, therefore, that designers and managers pay as much attention to human and social sustainability as to environmental factors. Furthermore, economic sustainability - future prosperity of the business - must be secured in order for operations to continue at all. The authors suggest that a socio-technical perspective has potential to address these concerns, by encouraging all stakeholder groups to contribute their contextual knowledge, supported by appropriate tools and techniques. By way of illustration, the paper reports some results from inquiries into sustainability practices in a number of SMEs. These findings suggest that multiple dimensions of sustainability are not always integrated into work systems and practices effectively. Further work will be needed to explore the potential of socio-technical approaches to improve this.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)
EditorsJan vom Brocke, Shirley Gregor, Oliver Muller
PublisherAIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781733632508
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019
EventECIS 2019: European Conference on Information Systems: Information Systems for a Sharing Society - Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 8 Jun 201914 Jun 2019
Conference number: 27


ConferenceECIS 2019: European Conference on Information Systems
Abbreviated titleECIS 2019
Internet address


  • socio-technical systems
  • sustainability
  • organizational information systems
  • stakeholder engagement
  • exploratory study


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