The Fourth Paradigm Redesigning Evolutionary Complex Systems of Organizational Communication

XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology; 07/2014.

349 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2015

See all articles by Andrea Pitasi

Andrea Pitasi

'Gabriele d'Annunzio' University of Chieti-Pescara

Date Written: July 2014


The paradigm shifts which featured the systemic thinking from the 1980s to the end of the last century and the very beginning of the 21st lead to some radical epistemological changes at the crossroads between communication sciences and sociology. This paper on one side reconstructs the key paradigm shifts in system theory from the whole/part one (P1) to the system/environment one (P2) and then to the autopoietic paradigm shift (P3). Kuhnian normality was rather unlikely in systems theory and still the key global economical, technological, social challenges of our times required revolutionary shifts. The other side of this paper is essentially focused on theorizing a fourth paradigm shift which selects the fragments of the late XX century epistemological debate turning them in a systematic (in the Mertonian meaning of the term) redesign of the concept of system itself revealing that design and evolution are two faces of the same coin. “In any event, we have changed our own evolution but not ended it”. (Barash 2008: 25) “Some increase in plasticity is to be expected […]. It represents the extrapolation of a trend toward variability already apparent in the baboos, chimpanzes and other cercopithecoids what is really surprising however is the extreme to which it has been carried. Why are human societies this flexible?” (Wilson, 2000: 548).

Suggested Citation

Pitasi, Andrea, The Fourth Paradigm Redesigning Evolutionary Complex Systems of Organizational Communication (July 2014). XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology; 07/2014., Available at SSRN: or

Andrea Pitasi (Contact Author)

'Gabriele d'Annunzio' University of Chieti-Pescara ( email )

Viale Pindaro 42
Chieti Scalo, Pescara 66013

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