Stakeholder Alignment in Socio-Technical Systems

  • Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Joel (PI)
  • Goldberg, David (CoPI)
  • Unsworth, John (CoPI)
  • Joshi, Aparna Anand (CoPI)
  • Martocchio, Joseph (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This research will help avoid catastrophic ?disconnects? in virtual organizations, promote valuable ?connects? among the stakeholders, and advance integrative theory in the emerging field of virtual socio-technical systems. Many complex socio-technical systems are virtual ?meta organizations? comprised of multiple stakeholders. The central challenge facing these systems is the alignment of stakeholders sufficient to enable regular operations and support periodic transformation. Stakeholder misalignment causes these systems to fall short of their potential and may result in catastrophic failures such as the response to Hurricane Katrina.

This research develops tools and methods which will be used to advance ?lateral alignment? of stakeholders theory by enabling transparent data collection. These tools and methods will also be of practical value in fostering stakeholder alignment. Web-based tools and methods for identifying behavioral, structural and cultural alignment or misalignment among stakeholders will be developed, allowing stakeholders to visualize their interrelationships and to anticipate and address threats and opportunities. The efficacy of these tools and methods and the value of lateral alignment of stakeholders theory will be tested on four pilot cases, representing a range of research, educational, and industry partnerships.

Every day we rely upon complex socio-technical systems such as the air, water and ground transportation systems, the power grid, and health care delivery systems. Many of these require cooperation or partnerships among several different organizations and agencies. These partnerships depend on stakeholder alignment to operate effectively. Providing tools to identify and address stakeholder misalignments could potentially transform the creation and management of these systems and help avoid future catastrophes.

Effective start/end date9/15/098/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $352,409.00


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