Prof. Dr. Susan Williams



Susan Williams is a Professor in the field of Social Informatics at the Institute for IS Research, University of Koblenz. She is a founder member of the Center for Enterprise Information Research (CEIR) and leads the Enterprise Information Management / Social Informatics Research Group.

She has previously held appointments at the Business School (University of Sydney), Faculty of Information Technology (University of Technology, Sydney), School of Information Systems, Technology & Management  (University of New South Wales) and The Information School, (University of Sheffield).
From 2006-2021 she held the position of Visiting Professor in the Centre for Human Centred Technology Design at the University of Technology, Sydney and since 2018 is Visiting Professor in the Discipline of Business Information Systems, at Sydney University Business School.


Sue is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in the areas of social and organisational informatics. Her work focuses on information ecologies and the design of the digital workplace. With an academic background in computer and information science her research examines complex socio-technical change (STC) and human-centred technology design. Her long-term research programme examines the challenges associated with understanding how new information infrastructures are shaping work and work practices and the design of digital workspaces and workplaces to support distributed collaborative work. Her current research interests include:

  • Sociotechnical change and the design of the digital workplace

  • Making Work Visible - ethnographic and trace ethnographic studies of distributed collaborative work

  • Traces of collaborative activity: trace ethnographies of digital work and documentary practices

  • Scale & scaling of collaboration technologies: from personal workplace to large-scale information infrastructures

  • Milestories – capturing socio-technical change over time

Her research programme is based on collaborations with practitioners and industry partners with the goal of assisting organisations to understand sociotechnical change and the ways it is shaping information artefacts and work practices.

Sue is co-founder of two industry-university research initiatives:

  • University Competence Center for Collaboration Technologies (UCT powered by HCL)

  • IndustryConnect collaboration technologies and the digital workplace

Sue is an expert in interactive and reflexive research designs that take into account the situated nature of human activity and encourage the active participation of all stakeholders. Her work also explores the development of social research methods in the areas of digital ethnography and computational trace analytics.
She has received funding for her research from a wide range of funding bodies including the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the European Union (EU), the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Higher Education Funding Council for England and Wales (HEFCE), HCL Germany, British Telecom (BT), Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), British Library (BLRD) and the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO). In her teaching, Sue is committed to the scholarship of learning and is actively engaged in introducing design research methods and approaches to responsible research and innovation into her teaching and research projects. 

Research Expertise

  • Information ecologies and socio-technical change

  • Designing for use: use-centred design and the design of the digital workplace

  • Deep information design: from metadata to documentary practices

  • Digital ethnography and computational trace analytics

  • Qualitative & participatory research & design methods

Journal Editorial Boards

  • International Journal of Information Management (IJIM) editorial board member (2002-2020)

  • International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management editorial board member (2015- )

  • Information Research (IR) editorial board member (2010-2014)

  • Information Research Australasian Editor (2008-2010)

  • International Journal of Information Management Asia-Pacific Editor (2004-2009)

  • Teaching in Higher Education editorial board member (1996-2004)