The Scope for Social Impact in Engineering Outcomes: A Diagrammatic Aid to Analysis
|Title||The Scope for Social Impact in Engineering Outcomes: A Diagrammatic Aid to Analysis|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1991|
|Authors||Vincenti, W. G.|
|Secondary Title||Social Studies of Science|
This Note presents ideas, and a resulting diagram, for use in analysis of social impact in the outcomes of engineering design. The diagram shows the degree of technical constraint in a design problem as a function of the independent variables type of design (radical to normal) and level of hierarchy within a systematic device (upper to lower). It is argued that technical constraint is greatest in normal design at the lower levels of hierarchy. On the (plausible) assumption that scope for social impact tends to decrease as technical constraint increases, these ideas have implications for the social study of technology.