In an experiment so-termed sociotechnical prototypes based on either a graphical or a textual representation of an envisioned work system were evaluated with regard to their ability to communicate a design vision to people involved in a participatory design process. Results of the study reveal, in line with hypotheses, that the graphical prototype, in contrast to the textual one, was significantly better accepted as well as faster explored and evaluated. Moreover, results support the hypothesis that the graphical sociotechnical prototype helps to build up a more accurate mental representation of the system with regard to its elements (e.g. job roles, tasks). However, no positive effect on the mental representation of the system in terms of the relations between its elements (e.g. which role performs which task?) was found. Finally, practical implications and perspectives for further development of the sociotechnical prototyping approach to envision future work systems are discussed.
Competing Interests: Declaration of competing interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
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