The Theoretical Foundations of Sociotechnical Systems Change Forsustainability: A Systematic Literature Review

Savaget, P., Geissdoerfer, M., Kharrazi, A. and Evans, S., 2019. The theoretical foundations of sociotechnical systems change for sustainability: A systematic literature review. Journal of cleaner production, 206, pp.878-892.

15 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2021

See all articles by Paulo Savaget

Paulo Savaget

University of Cambridge - Department of Engineering

Martin Geissdoerfer

University of Cambridge; University of California, Berkeley

Ali Kharrazi

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Public Policy

Steve Evans

University of Cambridge - Institute for Manufacturing

Date Written: September 24, 2018

Abstract

This paper provides a critical literature overview of the foundations of the concepts of sustainability and socio-technical systems change. This review covers the analysis of 182 scientific articles through a combination of bibliometric analysis, snowballing, content analysis and problematization. Our results identify and discuss 14 unique ontological and normative foundations shaping how we understand socio-technical system change for sustainability. These influence both what system change is perceived as desirable and as attainable; as well as how to navigate between all the coexisting pathways, trade-offs,and complexities of the three dimensions of sustainability. By identifying the theoretical foundations, we illustrate the most up-to-date theoretical developments and concomitantly pinpoint a few opportunities for future contributions that improve, refute or complement them, hence shedding light on various research questions to develop the literature further.

Keywords: Sociotechnical systems, Sustainability, Innovation, System change, Systematic literature review

Suggested Citation

Savaget, Paulo and Geissdoerfer, Martin and Kharrazi, Ali and Evans, Steve, The Theoretical Foundations of Sociotechnical Systems Change Forsustainability: A Systematic Literature Review (September 24, 2018). Savaget, P., Geissdoerfer, M., Kharrazi, A. and Evans, S., 2019. The theoretical foundations of sociotechnical systems change for sustainability: A systematic literature review. Journal of cleaner production, 206, pp.878-892., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3773831

Paulo Savaget

University of Cambridge - Department of Engineering

Cambridge
United Kingdom

Martin Geissdoerfer (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Ali Kharrazi

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Public Policy ( email )

Yayoi 1-1-1
Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo, 113-8657
Japan

Steve Evans

University of Cambridge - Institute for Manufacturing ( email )

17 Charles Babbage Road
Cambridge, CB3 0FS
United Kingdom

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