S3LF: a Socio-Technical System for Self-Determinant Governance
This work presents a socio-technical system in the form of a mobile application (S3LF) for facilitating a digital self-determinant governance experience in collaborative organizations. It consists of a technologically mediated adaptation of the decision making framework Sociocracy 3.0 a.k.a S3 (Priest & Bocklebrink, 2017), and a self-diagnosis dashboard that reports the self- determination of decisions made in different contextual situation. S3LF promises a faster onboarding into self-determinant governance, higher throughput of self-determinant decision making, and the means for the organization to self-correct dominant situations.
In recent years, new socio-technological niches have emerged such as Civic Tech (Patel et al., 2013) or Crowd-Civic Systems (Poblet, 2017) and also the interest in exploring in depth the potential of Collaborative Crowdsourcing (Bigham et al,. 2015). However, to the best of these authors’ knowledge, there are no socio-technological systems for collaborative decision making focused on facilitating individual self-determination in decision making process.
S3 has been selected as the basis of our application because it provides a methodology for collective decision making based on consent, a mechanism that allow individuals to block collective decisions through objections, and as a result, guarantees certain level of self-determination. In practice, however, no decision making methodology guarantees a perfect self-determinant experience, i.e., dominance can still be exerted in some situations; and S3 is no exception. Although, to the best of these authors S3 is one of the best in terms of providing self-determination, even though, presents two major limitations for massive adoption: slow onboarding, an overload of decision making meta-activities.
Based on practical knowledge obtained through ethnographic fieldwork, S3LF has been designed with the intent to improve over these limitations of S3, through an asynchronous, remote and digitally facilitated governance experience, accompanied by a self-diagnostic tool. Faster onboarding is expected by means of the self-facilitation that naturally provides a digital experience. Higher throughput is expected to occur by means of adapting the synchronous and face-to-face governance of S3 into the asynchronous and remote digital experience of S3LF. Finally, the correction of dominance situations is expected through the use of the self-diagnostic tool.
The self-diagnostic tool of S3LF consists of data visualization of the self-determination on different decision making contexts. The measuring of self-determination provided is in itself a major contribution. It is a particular adaptation of the scales presented by the Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) to estimate the self-determination of each decision based on: real time data gathering of instant feedback collected through autonomous logging, as well as, synthetically designed questionnaires provided to the user through the application’s interface at the moment in which a decision is made, what allows the contextual capturing of decision information. Data related to self-determination for each decision, is then presented to users through a combination of data analysis and data visualization tools, which allow them to analyze the levels of self-determination of the organization for the different contexts in which decisions has been made, and improve its practices evolving to a more self-determinant operative.
Bigham, J. P., Bernstein, M. S., & Adar, E. (2015). Human-computer interaction and collective intelligence. Handbook of collective intelligence, 57.
Endenburg, G., & Bowden, C. W. (1988). Sociocracy: The Organisation of Decision-making:" no-objection" as the Principle of Sociocracy. Stichting Sociocratisch Centrum.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55(1), 68.
Patel, M; Stocky, J; Gourley, S; Houghton, D. (2013). The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field. Knight Foundation.
Poblet, M. (2017). Towards a Taxonomy of Crowd-civic Systems. Working paper. Forthcoming at: Linked Democracy. Foundations, Tools, and Applications (Springer Open).
Priest, J., & Bockelbrink, B. (2017). Sociocracy 3.0. Sociocracy30. org, 2017.
Robertson, B. J. (2007). Organization at the leading edge: Introducing HolacracyTM. Integral Leadership Review, 7(3), 1-13.
S3LF: a socio-technical system in the form of a mobile application enables a digital self-determinant governance experience in collaborative organizations