Publication Details

Crawford, K. & Kazlauskas, A. (2005). Inter-activity: an Activity Theory model for socio-technical work spaces. In G. Whymark & H. M. Hasan (Eds.), Activity Theory as the Focus of Information Systems Research (pp. 141-168). Rockhampton, QLD: Knowledge Creation Press.


The issues that face human society are often addressed in a sociotechnical context that utilizes both social and technical tools. Such socio-technical milieux do not just happen but evolve over time. The ongoing emergence of more and more complex socio-technical contexts presents challenges to those involved as well as for sociocultural researchers. Vygotsky's (1978) Cultural Historical Activity Theory has been expanded upon by a number of researchers including Engestrom (1999) in order to develop understandings of work-based activity systems with a view to the identification of tensions within and to further development of those activity systems. Other researchers (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998; Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002) have looked at work situations as Communities of Practice where people share a particular practice and together refine the practice and further develop their expertise. More recently, Kurtz and Snowden (2003) have explored the application of Complexity Theory to organizations. These three frameworks provide a means to improve our understanding of the nature and evolution of socio-technical systems that involve the work of expert scientists and general practitioners who are working towards a common goal. This chapter presents social research that has led to a visualization of the evolving work of the changing complex anti-doping community. Its purpose is to increase the awareness of anti-doping scientists of the activity in which they are engaged, and to encourage consideration of how they can best mobilize knowledge that will advance the anti-doping outcomes.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Knowledge Creation Press