Call for PhD/MSc Workshop: “Researching Sociotechnical Systems”

“Designing Collaborative Ecosystems”

2017 Annual STS Roundtable & Global STS Design Network in partnership with Rutgers’ Center for Collaboration in Work & Society and Rutgers’ Center for Work & Health

Rutgers University: September 12—15, 2017

Pre-conference workshops: September 12, 2017

Pre-conference Workshop for PhD and MSc students

“Researching Sociotechnical Systems”

The future of sociotechnical systems (STS) research and design is in the hands of the younger generation. STS is an approach to complex organizational work design with a shared emphasis on achievement of both excellence in performance and quality in people’s work

lives. Investing in the next generation of researchers is an important instrument to increase the quality of STS research, and to promote further theoretical development of STS concepts.

Objective of the workshop

The objective of the workshop is to help PhD and Masters students design and execute their dissertation plans and provide them with feedback from senior academics and from the other participants. Graduate students in every stage of their dissertation research are welcome to participate. The call is aimed at students whose research is STS based; yet students researching organizations or organizational networks from other perspectives, who are interested in the possible added value of an STS approach to their research, are also very welcome. Possible research topics include work design, teamwork, organizational networks, business ecosystems, digital transformation, automation, management, task  division, coordination, worker participation, collaboration, governance, quality of working life, and organizational performance. Possible research settings include, but are not limited to: health and social care, information technology, manufacturing, education, public sector and unions. The focus of the workshop is on ‘doing research’, by addressing STS and organization design issues in a scientifically grounded way. The workshop offers PhD and Masters students a unique possibility to present and discuss, receive feedback, and exchange comments and views on their research in an inspiring community of fellow graduate students and experienced researchers active in the Global STS Design Network. The Roundtable is pleased to provide this workshop at NO charge to successful applicants.

Outline of the workshop

The half-day workshop will start with a brief keynote presentation on “Researching  Sociotechnical Systems”. The workshop is organized primarily around participative interaction. The participants are expected to write a short paper on their research in advance, and act as active contributors. Each short paper will be assigned to a fellow  student and to a senior discussant. Participants will be asked to present their short paper after which the two discussants will lead a group discussion.

The following scholars organize the workshop and will participate as discussants. Other names of discussants will be added later.

– Ezra Dessers, Assistant Professor, Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven, Belgium.

– Adrienne E. Eaton, Professor, Labor Studies & Employment Relations Department, Rutgers University, USA.

– Don De Guerre, Associate Professor, Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University, Canada.

Due date for application is May 31, 2017

Please submit your application for participation in the workshop by sending (1) a motivation letter, explaining the topic of your research, and what you expect to learn from the workshop, and (2) a short paper (2500 words max), in which you either present an overview of your dissertation plan, or focus on a specific part of your research (e.g. research questions, conceptual model, case description, preliminary results, etc.). Submissions should be sent by email, no later than May 31, 2017. The submissions will be reviewed, and notification of the decision can be expected by June 30, 2017. All accepted short papers will be published on the STS Roundtable website. Interested  participants will be invited to write a contribution for a forthcoming book on organizational networks in health and social care. In addition to the workshop, participants can submit a proposal for a poster at the conference.

Workshops and conference

The 2017 Annual STS Roundtable & Global STS Design Network conference, in partnership with Rutgers’ Center for Collaboration in Work & Society and Rutgers’ Center for Work & Health, will be held at Rutgers University: September 12—15, 2017—see:


The workshop is part of the pre-conference workshops, which will also be held at Rutgers University: September 12, 2017. We would encourage all workshop participants to join us for the entire conference if possible so everyone can benefit from ongoing dialogue throughout the conference with academics, practitioners, union leaders and managers. A reduced conference fee is available for students. If necessary, students may also apply for financial support – contact us.

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