Social Technical Theory in Knowledge Management

Essay by shaythorn01University, Master'sA, August 2010

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ITM 501

Module 1 Case Assignment

Social Technical Theory in Knowledge Management

May 20, 2010

Henry David Thoreau once said, "True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance". (Lewis 2006) If we look at friendship as an organization, and relationships within, you will find that Thoreau's statement is relevant to knowledge management. Information sharing between divisions, branches, and individuals is critical to the success of all. Additionally, John Adams has stated, "The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of rich men in the country". (Lewis 2006) This directly supports Thoreau's concept that (business) relationships will not fall apart with full disclosure or education, and reinforces the idea that seeking knowledge and access to knowledge is important, even in the lowest levels of organizational structure.

In my attempt to examine or explain the application of Social Technical Theory in Knowledge Management, I must first define the key terms and their individual principles.

After you define the terms and understand how each is applied to the worker and the work center, you can begin to examine the affect of knowledge management on organizational learning and organizational knowledge.

The Social Technical Approach is the understanding or consideration of two major principles when developing new innovations and technology. The designer considers the humanistic and the benefits of applying the new technology which includes the interaction of the two. At a glance this seems to be a simple deduction, technology makes our lives easier and more efficient. However with every introduction of technology, a human worker's occupation either gets reduced or eliminated. Social Technical Theory is theory about the social aspects of people and society which includes the technical aspects of machines and technology.