Jeopardy Hosted by Mr. Anderson and Agent Smith
Value Issues in IM Morales STS STS Component Characteristics of STSs 100 100 100 100 200 200 200 200 300 300 300 300 400 400 400 400 500 500 500 500
Row 1, Col 1 What does STS analysis accomplish in business? Uncover the different environments in which business activity takes place and to articulate how these constrain and enable different business practices
1,2 What are hardware and software? Machines and their operating systems form this component to a socio-technical system
1,3 What is/are Physical Surroundings? A description of this component of the STS in IM can be developed out of the scene where Wally and Fred walk in front of the newly completed chemical plant in Morales.
1,4 What is safety? Because of the range defect of the cheaper sensors and controls Manuel was forced to “babysit” the process. This new procedure placed this key value in jeopardy
2,1 What are hardware, software, physical surroundings, people/groups/roles, procedures, laws, and information collection and storage systems? These frequently constitute the parts of a socio-technical system
2,2 What are Physical Surroundings? This component imposes constraints (limits) over actions or enables and facilitates action. It channelizes actions and the development of ways of life.
2,3 What is hardware (sensors) and software (control software)? Lutz and Lutz controls would be located under this component of the Incident at Morales STS
2,4 What are People/Groups/Roles or Stakeholders? In this component of the IM STS we develop a network where individuals play different roles such as Chuck as VP of engineering, Dominique as liaison between Chemistre and Phaust, and Jen as Phaust chemist.
3,1 What is a system of distinguishable but inseparable and interacting parts? The surrounding socio-technical environment is, first and foremost, this.
3,2 What are Procedures? In this component, one studies different series of interrelated actions carried out in a particular sequence to bring about a desired result, such as the realization of a particular value
3,3 What is the legal/government component including the laws, statutes, and regulations of Mexico and the US? In this STS component, we find differences that influenced Phaust to locate the new plant in Morales, Mexico rather than Allentown, Texas.
3,4 What is confidentiality? It seems obvious that the most important factor in hiring Fred was the fact that he recently worked for Phaust competitor, Chemi Toil. This value comes into play under the information and information systems component of the IM STS
4,1 What is the ability of STSs to embody or embed Value? This characteristic makes STSs an effective tool in problem specification
4,2 What are laws, statutes, and regulations? These differ from ethical principles and concepts in that they prescribe the minimally moral while ethical principles and concepts can also explore moral “spaces” beyond minimum thresholds
4,3 What is/are Procedures? This component underlies the discussion between Wally and Fred as to whether it was necessary to conduct on-sight inspections of the new Mexican suppliers.
4,4 What is safety? A standard procedure of parent company, Chemistre, was to pass acquisition costs down the line through budget cuts. This value was ultimately placed in jeopardy when Chemistre cut the budget of the new Phaust plant 20%
5,1 What is a STS’s trajectory? The path or direction of change exhibited by a socio-technical system
5,2 What is information and information systems? Describes how data and information is collected, stored, and transmitted along with ethical issues such as informed consent and privacy that accompany information management
5,3 What is Information and Information Systems? This component underlies the ability of Phaust marketing to assess the different names for the new stripper that would be manufactured in the plant in Morales
5,4 What is procedure interpreting the engineering codes as outlining ethical procedures for engineers? This category best houses the engineer’s commitment to hold paramount the health, safety, and welfare of the public
The uses of socio-technical systems • Socio-technical systems represent the different environments of the business organization including the technological, physical, stakeholder (social), procedural, legal, and informational • They help to visualize the way these different “environments” both constrain and enable (or instrument) business activity
Building the Components of the STS • What your individual components depends on both the task and the STS in questionn • For example, if your STS analysis emphasizes technology, you may want to distinguish hardware from software (computer programming) • If you are, say, looking at a business that operates in several countries, you may want to identify the different economical systems at hand. • The same thing would apply if you were examining different and conflicting legal and regulatory contexts. (What is the impact of NAFTA on Mayaguez textile factories?)
Two Useful Descriptions • “A system is a complex environment of interacting components, together with the networks of relationships among them, that identifies an entity or a set of processes.” (Werhane, Alleviating Global Poverty  referring to Laszlo & Krippner) • “Systems thinking is the habit of mind that considers any social entity as a complex interaction of individual and institutional actors each with conflicting interests and goals and with a number of feedback loops” (Werhane referring to Wolf 1999)
STSs are not value neutral but value laden • This helps identify problems at early stages where they can be addressed and resolved without major adjustments. • Some problems arise from value vulnerabilities. Some value, like safety, is vulnerable as housed in a component or in the system as a whole. • Other problems stem from possible, latent, or actual value conflicts, especially between moral, engineering, and business values
STS Trajectories • This is the most important benefit of a STS analysis • STS change in response to internal issues (value vulnerabilities, value conflicts) and through their interactions outside with other STSs. • The goal is to set a STS on a value positive trajectory of change • The means is to make adjustments within and between different system components to remove vulnerabilities and resolve conflicts
Technological Component • This component is important, for example, when the transfer of technology is under discussion. Can technology (say XO Laptops) be transferred from classrooms in developed nations to those in developing nations without raising ethical, social, or political problems? • Like STSs, technologies embody or embed value. • These values frequently are used by those in power to maintain their status quo
Physical Surroundings • A professor of biology at UPRM challenges civil engineers building highways in Puerto Rico to explain how regulations that govern highway and bridge construction in the United States will, without question or modification, work in Puerto Rico. • Consider how the construction of highway 10 from Arecibo to Ponce was constrained and shaped by the mountainous terrain in the center of the island
Procedures • You know about procedures from your group work—how do you realize justice in the distribution of group work? • But consider, for example, Standard Operating Procedures in business organizations • What were the consequences of Wally and Fred violating the SOP of carrying out on-sight inspections of new suppliers?
Laws, Statutes, and Regulations • Phaust choose to build its new plant in Mexico to save on labor, environmental, and supply costs as well as take advantage of lower taxes. • Apple chooses to outsource the assembly of its different devices in China through the company Fox Com • Do choices like these have any value implications, say, with justice, responsibility, and respect?
Information and Information Systems • The Toysmart case best exhibits the importance of this feature of many STSs • The ways in which Toysmartcollected, stored, and transferred information had strong ethical implications. • Nissenbaum in Privacy in Context argues that legitimate information handling requires taking into account the context, the people and their roles in this context, and the customary norms that regulate information movement • Consider the opt-in and opt-out methods for obtaining consent for transfer of information to third parties.
Morales Plant Location • This location is also important under Physical Surroundings when considering whether the evaporation ponds should be lined. • Are they located in areas close to surrounding communities? • Is the ground under or surrounding the ponds porous? • Would the ponds be close to underground water sources?
Lutz and Lutz Controls • Remember that the software of the cheaper controls and sensors was more “buggy" than a New York City basement.
Marketing Information • Wally and other colleagues had strong ideas on the name of the new product (“power stripper”). • Upon further research “Stripped Teasy” turned out to be, not only be sexist, but also dangerously misleading. • Marketing is well equipped to gather information on how the consumer will react to different names. (What do they do to collect this information?) • What kind of ethical issues arise in marketing?
Engineering Code • This is difficult to classify or locate under a single STS component. • It could also be classified under people/groups/roles since professional societies in engineering are groups that play the role of ensuring that engineers are qualified to practice according to high standards • In that some engineering societies have a semi-regulatory role, it could also be classified under laws, statutes, and regulations