Co-Creating Humane and Innovative Organizations

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About the author:
Bernard J. Mohr is past Dean of Complex Systems Change at NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science and adjunct faculty in organizational innovation at Concordia University (Montreal). His 40 year career as a consulting social scientist in health care, education, retail, manufacturing, government, and professional service has taken him across North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and the Middle East. Co-creating workplaces that work great and are great to work in continues to be the focus of his research and practice.

Pierre van Amelsvoort studied management science and industrial engineering at the Technical University of Eindhoven (1976-1981). He is an expert in socio-technical systems design and change of organizations. In 1990 he established the Socio-technical Organisation Consultancy Group (ST-Groep). In 1992, he obtained his PhD, and from 1994 to 2007, he was professor by special appointment at the Nijmegen School of Management. Since 2010, he has been a professor at the Catholic University Leuven.

Co-Creating Humane and Innovative Organizations

Evolutions in the Practice Of Socio-technical System Design

Authored by Bernard J. Mohr
Other primary creator Pierre van Amelsvoort

For many organizations, doing "business as usual" in a world full of rapidly shifting pressures and opportunities is a limiting strategy. The combined demands on productivity, quality, flexibility, innovation, sustainability and healthy work continue to drive the search for innovation in the workplace.
More than just process innovation or better use of technology, the Socio-Technical Systems design approach has a rich history of creating human centered and high performance alternatives to the classical Tayloristic bureaucracy still found in many of our organizations. In the past 70 years STS-D theory and practice have developed in a rainbow of expressions - which can be seen as three waves of evolution. The initial wave was about the re-design of routine/linear work in manufacturing. The second wave embraced non-routine/non-linear work where information processing and service delivery were key - i.e.- the ascendance of the "knowledge worker". The third wave recognizes the importance of designing networks (both within and across organizations and the need to design/mobilize issue based eco-systems. We have also seen the shift from job and team design to the design at the macro level of "whole systems" - be they organizations, networks or ecosystems - not only in industrial organisations but also service, government and social profit entities. The design of information systems (ICT) and the facilities within which people work is also increasingly a part of STS-D theory and practice.
What hasn't changed are the goals of all STS based design processes -i.e.- improving life for people in the organization while focusing on quality (of product or service), adaptability, and productivity - in ways that are good for all stakeholders. In this colorful book 25 academics, union leaders and practitioners describe their new lenses on STS-D.
"The idea of building organizations that are great for people and productivity began long before Teal and Holocracy became popular.   Bernard Mohr and Pierre van Amelsvoort have crafted a collection of papers that trace the history of the Socio-technical school of organization design from the 1950s to the present day.  Read book this if you want to know the story behind the story of making organizations that are truly amazing."

Bill Pasmore,, Professor of Practice, Columbia University
"Finally we have an excellent overview of Socio-technical theory and practice, a historically seminal concept that has not received nearly enough attention among managers and organization development practitioners."  

Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus MIT Sloan School of Management,
Author of Humble Consulting (2016)
"This book explains much of the roots of today's focus on human-centered design and user experience. New technology is often designed without an adequate focus on how humans will use it productively, flexibly, and creatively. Every academic, practitioner and consultant interested in organizational design, creating workplaces where people thrive and getting the most out of the organization should read, absorb, and become an implementer of the principles described here."

Ann Majchrzak, USC Associates Chaired Professor of Business Administration,
University of Southern California 
"The need to close the gap between evidence and common practice in workplaces has never been greater. This is a compelling account of how STS-D's multiple stakeholder approach, its insistence that organisational design is aligned with organisational purpose and strategy, and its emphasis on the organisation as a system of interdependent parts, underpin its enduring relevance. This publication deserves to reach the bookshelves of researchers and practitioners alike."

Peter Totterdill Chief Executive, UK Work Organisation Network (UK WON),
Visiting Professor, Kingston University London and Mykolas Romeris University Vilnius

Publication Date:
0692510036 / 9780692510032
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White with Bleed
Related Categories:
Social Science / General

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