Reframing the Systemic Approach to Complex Organizations as Intangible Portfolios
NUOVA ATLANTIDE QUADRA-MONTHLY 2012/1, 33-52
23 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2015
Date Written: 2012
The aim of this paper is to pave the way towards the inclusion of mainstream sociological approaches (based on Luhmann’s approach) for the studies of firms-organizations. In social sciences we can observe that the theoretic consequences of a paradigm shift is significantly represented by the evolution of systemic thinking from Parsons to Luhmann. This shift implies the change from the vision of systemic organizations as "structures" to that of systemic organizations as "communication lows". The milestone of systemic approach in management maybe found in the research and applied works of Anthony Staford Beer with his Viable System Model (VSM) that today faced a relevant reconfiguration by Golinelli and the Italian school on Viable Systemic Approach (VSA). The paradigm shift in this field has been smoother than in sociology, and didn’t imply the discard of the concept of organization as a structure. This because, in management sciences, the perspective and, consequently, the subject of study is the organization and its structure. We think this paradigm shift is possible also in management sciences, if we consider the whole organization as a structured information low creating a dematerialized structure. Our research question is: “Is it possible to apply in business sciences the fundamental concepts that caused the paradigm shift in sociology?” To answer to this question we discuss about ontology of the irm and of the concept of value in order to understand to what extent intangible communication lows are called upon to be involved in a new definition of structure.
Keywords: Systemic approach in Sociology, VSA, value constellation
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