Title: A social environmental model of socio-technical performance

Authors: Brian Whitworth; Cheickna Sylla

Addresses: Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. ' School of Management, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102, USA

Abstract: This paper analyses the nature of social performance, to explain how socio-technical systems (STSs) like chat, e-markets, social networks and wikis can succeed despite being free of charge. It defines the non-zero-sum synergy gains of cooperation and how self-interested acts can collapse the society that creates them. It explains how physical human society dealt with this 'social dilemma' then relates that to the socio-technical advance. In this model, society is a social environment within a world environment, so its citizens face the dual requirements of self-interest and social-interest, which can be satisfied by anchoring one demand then managing the other, e.g., competing within a social context, as in markets, or community service within an individual context of sufficiency. Overall, the paper proposes a new social form that socio-technical systems illustrate and which could be the future of humanity.

Keywords: information technology; society; sociotechnical systems; STS performance; social environmental modelling; game theoretical models; homo-economicus; homo-socologicus; chat; e-markets; social networks; wikis; cooperation; self-interested acts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2012.047878

International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2012 Vol.11 No.1, pp.1 - 29

Published online: 13 Jul 2012 *

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