Humans, Technology and Organisation

Proposer: Martina Berglund, Linköping University, (SWEDEN), E-mail:

Session Type: Symposium

Chairs: Martina Berglund, & Anette Karltun

Brief Description: There are various systems perspectives with different foci and uses, e.g. to jointly improve organizational performance and working conditions as in the sociotechnical systems theory (Pasmore, 1988) or as means for organizational development (Porras and Robertson, 1992). One systems perspective is the MTO- or HTO- concept (Man/Humans, Technology and Organisation) which symbolizes the three interlaced subsystems: Humans, Technology, and Organization (Rollenhagen, 1997). The HTO-concept was developed during the 1980’s within the Swedish nuclear power industry with the aim of improving overall safety. The systems view of the HTO-concept was considered successful also for developing a more thorough safety culture and has thereafter reached wider use in Sweden as a meta-concept which may be applied to analyse and develop further understanding of any type of high complexity business or activity, such as mail delivery services (Karltun, 2007; Karltun and Berglund, 2011), aviation (Rosén and Thor, 2010), healthcare, Lean implementation (Berglund and Poksinska, 2012), etc. The main point is that successful development is only achieved if all three systems components are regarded.|The HTO-concept may serve for a variety of uses. It may be used to analyse or assess workplaces and/or work processes, both on an individual or group level, but it could also be used for design of new workplaces, organisational structures as well as quality and service development. The aim of the proposed symposium is therefore to highlight the diversity of the use of the concept with papers that demonstrate how HTO could be applied for different issues and domains. The contributing speakers in the proposed symposium have various backgrounds and experiences from working with HTO in practical operations contexts, work environment authority, research as well as teaching in HTO master’s education.

1. Boundary crossing in product introductions considering humans, technology and organisation

Martina Berglund, Linköping University, Sweden, (e-mail:

2. The importance of HTO-interaction in shaping quality improvement and safety in healthcare

Anette Karltun, Jönköping University, Sweden, (e-mail:

3. Experiences of MTO interactions during six years of interventions in the meat cutting business

Johan Karltun,Jönköping University, Sweden, (e-mail:

4. Organisational challenges associated with design and implementation of technology in socio-technical systems to improve resilience

Anna-Lisa Osvalder, Chalmers, Sweden, (e-mail:

5. Visualizing care processes- a contribution to shared understanding and engagement, or cognitive strain?

Anna Williamsson, KTH, Sweden ,(e-mail: )

6. Presentation Symposium HTO 6

Lena Kecklund, MTO Safety AB ,(e-mail:
9 AUGUST 2020