Social Information Systems/Social Informatics

Track Description

As technology becomes inextricably intertwined with our lives, it seems timely that we consider the socio-cultural impacts and implications of this technologically-enabled life that many of us willingly embrace. While Information Technology (IT) brings with it many benefits, these benefits are not necessarily equally shared, nor are the impacts of IT in complex organizational structures necessarily predictable. IT also has the potential to change economic, political, social and technical structures in organizations and social settings in unequal, and at times, unexpected ways. Designers and implementers of IT systems need to be more cognizant of these impacts, and adopt practices that allow for more mindful and considered designs to be promulgated.

There is a growing body of literature that theorizes the impacts of IT in sociotechnical contexts, and the various factors that influence the impacts that IT has in a variety of institutional and social settings. This track would welcome submissions that draw on a range of theoretical traditions and empirical approaches in addressing the key issues in how IT has become intertwined in our daily lives and the impacts that this has. Papers that consider the impacts that new technologies may have would be welcome. So too would papers that offer new insights and perspectives on existing understandings in this field.

Relevant Topics

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Socio-technical systems theory
  • Socio-cultural analyses of the uses, impacts and consequences of IT adoption and implementation
  • Roles and impacts of IT in organizational and social change
  • Human-centered computing
  • Practices and politics in the implementation and use of IT in organisations
  • Challenges encountered in the computerization of work
  • Organizational implications of changing structural configurations through computerisation
  • The role and impact of social context on the design, implementation and use of IT
  • Emerging paradoxes in technology-driven organizational change
  • The impacts of IT on social and political structures
  • Value sensitive design
  • Context sensitive design
  • Theories, frameworks, methods and tools to support understanding of the complex interplay of the technological and the social in organizations and societies
  • Contextual research in social informatics
  • Analyses of IT implementations to understand the potential for and consequences of unequal distribution of IT benefits amongst organisational, social, and/or global stakeholders
  • Theories, frameworks, and case studies to foreground the unintended and emergent consequences of IT implementation and use in organisations

Track Chairs and Contact Details

Professor Judy McKay, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia (

Dr Rajiv Vashist, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia (

See also…

School of Business IT and Logistics
The School of Business IT and Logistics provides high quality technical and professional education in: Business Information and Communications Technology, in Information Management and Librarianship and in Logistics and Supply Chain Management education within a comprehensive business context – ensuring the employability of its graduates.