Niklas Luhmann’s Autopoietic Theory of Organisations: Contributions, Limitations, and Future Prospects
University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW); University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology; University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)
University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology; Copenhagen Business School - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management
February 1, 2010
University of Zurich, Institute of Organization and Administrative Science (IOU), IOU Working Paper No. 105
In this paper we discuss the strengths and limitations of Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory as a theoretical lens for studying organisations. We outline the main contributions of his work to contemporary organisation studies: the differentiation between social and psychological logics, the differentiation between different social systems, the radical process character of organisations, and the embeddedness of his organisation theory into a larger theory of society. Based on a discussion of the main limitations of Luhmann’s theory we propose an agenda for the future development of his theory.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Niklas Luhmann, Theory of Social Systems, Autopoiesis, Organization Theoryworking papers series
Date posted: February 15, 2010
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