The modernization of nuclear power plants will require an advanced concept of operations, involving an integrated set of tightly coupled systems in which all stakeholders act in a coordinated manner. For this modernization effort to be enabled, we developed a human and organizational factors approach based on a broad sociotechnical framework. Starting from core human factors principles, we conducted a literature review of the methods and approaches relevant to the modernization problem. These included not only core disciplines such as cognitive systems engineering, systems theoretic accident modeling and processes, human systems integration, resilience engineering, and macroergonomics but also related topics of safety culture and organizational change. From this literature, we developed a conceptual framework centered around the work system with its four interacting components: people, technology, process, and governance. In an effective work system, these four components are jointly optimized according to three systems criteria: efficiency, effectiveness, and safety. System failure may result from excessive emphasis on any one criterion. The actual work of attaining joint optimization in a given work system can be accomplished by utilizing three high-level functions: knowledge elicitation, knowledge representation, and cross-functional integration. We illustrated the utility of this approach by applying it to practical problems and case studies.