Organizational Design: Need for a Socio-technical Inclusive System Design Approach to meet 21st Century Workforce Challenges
Authors: Amjad Hussaina, Keith Caseb, Kamran Ali Chathac
Abstract: Changes occurring in the business and socio-economic global environments increase the complexity of working systems. The global workforce is becoming more diverse where people from different social, cultural, geographical and technical backgrounds work together in spite of their existing differences. Existence of varying human responses caused due to variations in individual’s physical, physiological, psychological, social and cognitive responses to the organizational design becomes a real challenge for designers. Moreover, increase in the number of older workers, also requires the attention of designers, as they are different in many ways. These issues increase the complexity of organizational systems and have serious implications for human factors and ergonomics as this complexity challenges the way conventional organizational systems are designed and implemented. There is a great need to develop new strategies where human variations are rightly understood and then emphasized during organizational design process. A proposed Sociotechnical Inclusive System Design approach has been discussed for addressing social and technical issues of organizational design by integrating socio-technical principles with inclusive thinking so that these challenges might be addressed at the organizational and individual levels. This article briefly describes global workforce challenges like increase in diversity, ageing, and impact of individual level variations on workplace safety and task performance. Finally, it highlights the need to design organizational systems based on diversity and differences where social and technical inclusivity should be an integral part of any design decision so that organizations can effectively utilize their human capital. The suggested design approach can draw multiple benefits including employee satisfaction, workplace safety and well-being, high productivity and quality and retention of a skilled workforce for a longer time. All these benefits ultimately support the attainment of long term organizational sustainability.
Keywords: Organizational Design; Socio-technical System Design; Inclusive Design; Workforce Challenges; Ageing and Diversity
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