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This position paper describes an approach that might increase the likelihood that the sociotechnical perspective will take its proper place in today’s world. This paper questions the clarity of the traditional STS notion of joint optimization of a social system and technical system. It explains how the integrated system view in work system theory (WST) and the work system method (WSM) might provide a more straightforward way to describe, discuss, and negotiate about sociotechnical systems. Using WST/WSM to bypass the effort of separately describing and jointly optimizing social and technical systems might make it easier to engage effectively in discussions that reconcile system conceptualizations, business realities, and humanist values in IS development.


A substantially abbreviated version appearss in the Proceedings.