University of Edinburgh Business School
Homeostasis: From metaphor to mechanism in the tech – human relationship
Harwood and Eaves. (2017).


Man’s relationship with technology dates back many thousands of years. However, it is only relatively recently that scholarly attention has been given to this relationship. Whilst recent conceptualisations of the socio-material or socio-technical have given rise to such metaphors as ensemble, entanglement, and assemblage, these offer limited insight into the dynamic nature of this relationship. The concept of homeostasis offers an alternative perspective focusing upon how stability is achieved, it being assumed that technology exists in a stable relationship with man. This paper examines homeostasis, drawing upon relevant literatures as well as evaluating the case-study of use of a laptop. The findings demonstrate thatthe notion that homeostasis in terms of homeostatic mechanisms, provide a valid and useful epistemological device to explain the stable nature of relationship between man and (information) technology. Moreover, that homeostasis underpins the resilience of such relationships.

Business School author

Dr Stephen Harwood, Lecturer

Further information