O'Reilly logo

A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Concepts for Examining LTS Dynamics

As the most common denominator, studying technologies from an LTS perspective, whether electricity supply, uranium supply chains, steamboats, or weapon production systems, means bringing into vogue their systemic and sociotechnical aspects. Beyond that, there is no consensus on defining words like “large,” “technical” and “system.” It is true that early LTS studies often presupposed centralized control over all system elements and excluded anarchistic systems like road and water transport. Later studies, however, examined exactly self-regulation and coordination mechanisms in “loosely–coupled” large technical systems. Likewise, some authors have defined large technical systems by function (communication, transport, energy supply), while others investigated challenges and problems due to their multifunctionality (again, particularly in water-based and road systems).

A number of concepts aim to spotlight the systemic and sociotechnical character of LTS development. Most of them were first introduced by Hughes. Regarding overall system development, Hughes identified a “loosely defined” pattern of LTS development with “overlapping yet discernible” phases. In an invention phase a new technological system emerges around radical inventions. In a development phase this nascent system is adapted to economic, political and social characteristics needed for survival in the “use world,” typically at test sites. An innovation phase adds further system components ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required