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The social systems were more important in shaping the final outcome in Painter's case study. Even though a more standardized documentation was introduced by the technical systems, the initiative and quality of judgment exercised by skilled workers such as those of Claim Officers were more important. The technical systems reduced the need and effort for data entry but it was the social system that had to realize the benefits offered by the technical system. The hardware and the software was provided by the technical systems but the very technically skilled workers functioned in virtual teams, physically dispersed over the wide geography of the province. The technical system provided the tools, whereas the social system maintained the professional standards and developed best practices. The system was an effective socio-technical design. On one side E-File provided an enabling platform for knowledge management, the social systems developed communities of practice. A socio-technical system recognizes the interaction between people and technology in the workplace. From the perspective of socio-technical systems there is an interaction between the social aspects of people and the technical aspects of organizational structure and processes. From the point of view of theory the technical aspects do not necessarily mean material technology. So the development of Business User Group representatives is a part of the socio-technical systems.
A social system is the patterned series of interrelationships existing among individuals, groups, and institutions and forming the whole. On the other hand technical systems are application systems that are installed in the system landscape of the organization. The technical system at the public insurance company was the E-File which provided imaging, data integration, and automated workflow. The technical system converted paper based work processes to electronic document management system. On the other hand the social system at the insurance company was the redesign done to jobs and organization structure, the changes made to the ...
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