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Technology and organisation: finding 'fit' in a mature system

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posted on 2023-06-09, 14:56 authored by Katherine LovellKatherine Lovell
This paper considers the role of technology in enabling and constraining the organisational forms that interact with it. It focuses on the setting of Large Technical Systems and introduces a case of a mature system which had its organisational structure transformed. In research on complex/hierarchical systems, the link between organisation and technology has centred around the ?mirroring hypothesis?. This paper characterises this connection as ?design fit? and considers it alongside the ?operational fit? introduced by Joan Woodward (1958). It is argued that in the case of Large Technical Systems there is a connection between these two types of fit which is more complex than the output of the design network being the source of technology change of the operating system; this is linked to the issue of legacy which is identified as an important distinction between an isolated system and one which forms an adjustment to a system of systems. The industry case illustrates the complexity of both the adjustments made around introduced organisational interfaces and the link between the two types of fit considered in this paper.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

DRUID Conference 2011

Event location

Copenhagen Business School

Event type


Event date

15-17 June 2011

Department affiliated with

  • SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


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