New Publication: Sociotechnical Resilience: A Preliminary Concept
This concept of sociotechnical resilience employs an interdisciplinary perspective derived from the fields of science and technology studies, human factors, safety science, organisational studies, and systems engineering.
In the globalised world characterised by rapid technological changes, shifting demographics, and transforming roles of agents, groups, and institutions, new challenges are emerging at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, ecological and sociopolitical turbulences render our lives more vulnerable than ever. These trends inevitably cause technological systems and infrastructures to become increasingly fragile.
In recent times, resilience has been introduced and widely adopted as a framework to deal with the growing risk of crisis and disturbance, especially in advanced cities that deeply rely on interdependent critical infrastructures. Even though both sociotechnical systems and resilience are widely discussed topics, there is a lack of convergence between these concepts.
Prof Dr Sulfkar Amir and Dr Vivek Kant published the paper 'Sociotechnical Resilience: A Preliminary Concept' in the Risk Analysis journal, with the aim to contribute to the theoretical discourse of resilience by offering a new concept of resilience framed as an inherent attribute of sociotechnical systems. They present the concept of sociotechnical resilience by employing an interdisciplinary perspective derived from the fields of science and technology studies, human factors, safety science, organisational studies, and systems engineering.
Highlighting the hybrid nature of sociotechnical systems, they identify three main constituents that characterise sociotechnical resilience: informational relations, sociomaterial structures, and anticipatory practices. Further, they frame sociotechnical resilience as undergirded by the notion of transformability with an emphasis on intentional activities, focusing on the ability of sociotechnical systems to shift from one form to another in the aftermath of shock and disturbance.
The authors propose that the triad of relations, structures, and practices are fundamental aspects required to comprehend the resilience of sociotechnical systems during times of crisis.
Prof Dr Sulfkar Amir and Dr Vivek Kant are from the Modelling Complex Socio-Technical Infrastructure Systems research module of the Future Resilient Systems programme.