A sociotechnical approach to understand an online application system development: a university case study

Sefoka, Machelane Eliya
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In a rapidly changing world of technological advancement and innovation, academic institutions are propelled to automate manual processes for more efficiency and access to a broader spectrum of applicants. For this reason, universities are investing in online application system to deal with long queues, malpractice, loss of documents, and undue costs incurred by the university. However, online application systems that do not adequately address sociotechnical requirements may result in an unsuccessful implementation, wasteful expenditure and sometimes reputational damage to the university. This research suggests a general sociotechnical conceptual framework which was informed by both the traditional System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and Effective Technical & Human Implementation of Computer-based Systems (ETHICS) methodology to understand the development of an online application system using a sociotechnical approach. An exploratory research approach was used on an online application system case study to understand what sociotechnical aspects were considered during the application development and the outcome thereof. Qualitative data sources were examined to understand the context and rationale for any sociotechnical issues incorporated or excluded in the online application system development. Based on new discoveries, the sociotechnical conceptual framework was enhanced to be more relevant for academics, practitioners and organisations to use as a guide for a sociotechnical system development approach.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce
Sefoka, Eliya, (2019). sociotechnical approach to understand an online application system development :a university case study, University of the Witwatersrand, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/29696