Our research

Engineers through cogwheel

The Socio-Technical Centre (STC) adopts an interdisciplinary approach to research, integrating disciplines including psychology, engineering and geography.

STC applies a socio-technical approach within all our research. By considering both the social and technical elements of systems, the centre can help organisations be more effective in their operations and in the implementation of change initiatives.

Our approach

Our work covers the development of individual competencies and organisational capability, the optimisation and improvement of process and tools, and the design and analysis of organisational contexts including workspaces and social networks. We have examined the following specific areas in our current and past projects:

Socio-technical systems Social systems Group behaviour and cognition Individual behaviour and cognition
  • Software design and management
  • Technical product development
  • Organisational culture
  • Social network analysis
  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Meetings
  • Communication
  • Coordination
  • Shared mental models
  • Leadership
  • Competencies
  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Career development
  • Job satisfaction
  • Health and wellbeing


We apply these capabilities to areas including:

  • Change management
  • Knowledge management
  • Crowd behaviour
  • Job crafting and design
  • Design of buildings, infrastructure, ways of working, and IT systems


STC has been successful in attracting significant funding from UK research councils (eg Economic and Social Research Council, and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), other funding bodies (eg Technology Strategy Board, and World Universities Network), and both private and public sector organisations. 


Our team has collaborated with a number of international academic partners as well as applying research within large organisations across a range of sectors including Rolls-Royce, Arup and the National Health Service.

Academic partners

  • Arizona State University
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cranfield University
  • Harvard Medical School
  • IMD
  • Imperial College London
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Loughborough University
  • University of Manitoba
  • UNC Charlotte
  • Nottingham University Business School
  • The University of Queensland
  • University of Reading
  • Royal College of Art
  • The University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Fortaleza
  • The University of Western Australia
  • University of Central Florida
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
  • Nanjing University
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Bern
  • NUI Galway
  • Chalmers
  • Griffith University