February 12, 2021
In this research we advocate that the efficiency measurement paradigm could transition from an evaluation-to-rank towards an evaluation-to-design paradigm. We suggest that this transition can inform the design of socio-technical systems. In order to achieve this type of design would require the consideration of issues associated with organizational design, enterprise systems engineering along with system complexity. We recommend that the required research be conducted within inter- or transdisciplinary context with all of their benefits and challenges to achieve high quality application results. We describe five illustrations conducted over the years at Virginia Tech’s System Performance Laboratory. We present these illustrations by describing the societal or socio-technical system needs that drove the research, the research constraints and considerations, the stakeholders affected by the research, the approach or approaches used, the feedback to theory and open modeling issues, and a description of societal and socio-technical system impacts. We describe the potential of a complex adaptive systems approach as an enabler of socio-technical system design and conclude with a series of open-ended questions and issues.
Kostas Triantis received his BS, MS, M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research form Columbia University. He is currently the John Lawrence Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and serves as the Program Director of the Industrial and Systems Engineering program at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center. He is a member of the College of Engineering’s Executive committee for the Northern Virginia programs and co-directs the System Performance Laboratory (SPL) at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia campus. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Productivity Analysis. He served as the program director of the Civil Infrastructure Systems at the National Science Foundation and was the program director of the Systems Engineering program across the Commonwealth of Virginia at Virginia Tech. His current teaching and research interests cover the areas of strategic performance management, quantitative methods for performance measurement, and social-technical system design.