The fundamental premise of the ‘sociotechnical constituency’ approach is that all innovation andtechnological processes are understood to be intrinsically an integration of social and technical constituents. That is, they imply the construction of ‘sociotechnical constituencies,’ understood as dynamic ensembles of technical constituents (hardware, software, etc.) and social constituents (people, interest groups and their visions, values, etc.), which interact and shape each other in the course of the creation, production and diffusion of specific technologies.
Thus, the term “sociotechnical constituencies” emphasises the idea of interrelation and interaction in innovation and technological development. It makes it possible to think of technical constituents and social constituents but always stressing the point that in the technological process both kinds of constituents merge into each other. Sociotechnical constituencies are never static; they are always evolving and changing their mix in ways which are reflected in growth or decline. A manifestation of this change may be seen, for instance, in the evolution of market shares of a constituency’s products, for instance, educational software, or, in the spread of successful adoption and implementation of ICTs in schools.
In this analysis, the extent to which any given technology such as ICT is diffused and successfully implemented is conditional upon the relative success or failure of the sociotechnicalconstituency creating and promoting it. The success or failure of the sociotechnical constituency in turn depends largely on the ability of the constituents to strike a balance between theirindividual interests and the development of the constituency as a whole.