Postgraduate taught 

Financial Technology MSc

A Systems Approach to Technology Management: Knowledge, Expertise and Understanding MGT5395

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course aims to provide an overview of the management of technology through the lens of a systems approach. In particular, the course will provide insights derived from a soft systems methodology (SSM) that integrates organisational and technological factors together to consider how effective technological change can be in the face of organisational constraints, including knowledge of systems performance and the role played by expertise within the change process.


The course is to be delivered over 3 full days, comprising of 21 hours of lectures.

Excluded Courses





Students will be expected to work on a real-world case to assess the systems elements associated with the introduction of a new technology into an organisation.


There will be a consultancy-based report to 'an organisation' of 3000 words which will focus on ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. These reports will be peer assessed within the delegate group as well as by the teaching team. 40% of the marks will be allocated from peer assessment and the remaining 60% from the academic team. ILO 6 will be developed within the lecture programme as students will be asked to present their findings to group members.

Course Aims

The course will provide an introduction to the main elements of the design of socio-technical systems in which the human, organisational, and technological elements interact together to generate emergent conditions that need to be managed. The course will introduce delegates to the soft systems methodology developed by Checkland as a means of providing a framework to consider the impact that the various human elements within the system (customers, actors, and owners) and their world views (core beliefs, values and assumptions) can have on systems performance and particularly on the transformation processes that take place within the organisation. Of particular importance here is the role played by information within organisations and the effects that expertise and knowledge management can have in terms of shaping and making sense of both the socio-technical system and its operating environment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Identify, contextualise and critique the main elements in the design of a socio-technical system.

2. Articulate and analyse the main elements of a system and frame it within the situational context in which a new technology is introduced into an organisation. This will be achieved through the use of the soft systems methodology approach as a complementary tool to a hard systems perspective

3. Critique and analyse the use of information, knowledge, and expertise in the decision making processes around the introduction and on-going management of a new technological development within an organisation.

4.  Develop and evaluate a range of strategic options for the introduction of new technologies into the organisation and to highlight the managerial change processes that will need to be employed in order to ensure that the strategy is successful.

5. Consider the potential for the failure of the technology change that is proposed and the limitations of expertise within that context and be able to develop and support contingency arrangements in support of on-going business continuity issues.

6. Present the findings of their analysis in both written and presentational forms.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.