above examples, the hardware is the microcomputers and their connecting wires,hubs, routers, etc.
systems, utilities, application programs, specialized code
. Itis getting increasingly hard to tell the difference between software and hardware, but we expect that software is likely to be an integral part of any socio-technicalsystem. Software (and by implication, hardware too) often incorporates socialrules and organizational procedures as part of its design (e.g. optimize these parameters, ask for these data, store the data in these formats, etc.). Thus,software can serve as a stand-in for some of the factors listed below, and theincorporation of social rules into the technology can make these rules harder tosee and harder to change. In the examples above, much of the software is likely tochange from the emergency room to the elementary school. The software thatdoes not change (e.g. the operating system) may have been designed more withone socio-technical system in mind (e.g. Unix was designed with an academicsocio-technical system in mind). The re-use of this software in a different socio-technical system may cause problems of mismatch.
. Buildings also influence and embody social rules, andtheir design can effect the ways that a technology is used. The manager's officethat is protected by a secretary's office is one example; the large office suite withno walls is another. The physical environment of the military supplier and theelementary school are likely to be quite different, and some security issues may behandled by this physical environment rather than by the technology. Moving atechnology that assumes one physical environment into a different environmentone may cause mismatch problems.
Individuals, groups, roles (support, training, management, line personnel,engineer, etc.), agencies
. Note that we list here not just people (e.g. Mr. Jones) but roles (Mr. Jones, head of quality assurance), groups (Management staff inQuality Assurance) and agencies (The Department of Defense). In addition to hisrole as head of quality assurance, Mr. Jones may also have other roles (e.g. a