An extensive review of the literature has found that the applications of sociotechnical systems (STS) in developing countries have been spotty and limited in scope. This article discusses the causes of these limitations, including the following: principles of the theory itself and the extent to which they conflict with prevailing conditions and practices in developing countries, the conduct of Western change agents operating in such countries, indigenous managers and other local stakeholders acting as potential change agents, and the quality of the partnerships between Western change agents and their counterparts in developing countries. Although the authorfinds STS theory and interventions epistemologically sound and robust, he notes that their application requires major adjustments both in developing countries and by Western change agents. The author concludes that the success of applications of STS will depend on the capacity of different developing countries to adjust and undertake interventions according to their individual and collective needs and circumstances.

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Journal The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
Kiggundu, M. (1986). Limitations to the Application of Sociotechnical Systems In Developing Countries. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 22(3), 341–353. doi:10.1177/002188638602200312