A Luhmannian Perspective on Strategy: Strategy as Paradox and Meta-Communication

29 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016

See all articles by Andreas Rasche

Andreas Rasche

Copenhagen Business School

David Seidl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Date Written: May 9, 2016

Abstract

Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social systems is based on two revolutionary ideas: firstly, that the social world should be conceptualized as consisting of nothing but communications; and secondly, that communications are produced not by human beings but by the network of communications of which they are part. We discuss the insights that can be gained by applying this theory to the study of strategic management. We show that it leads to a re-conceptualization of central issues concerning strategy process, strategy content, and strategy context. On this basis, we offer an outline of a framework for studying strategic management from a Luhmannian perspective. This new framework highlights the paradoxical nature of strategizing and conceptualizes strategic management as meta-communication in organizations.

Keywords: strategic management, strategy, Luhmann, systems theory, paradox

JEL Classification: M1, M10, M12

Suggested Citation

Rasche, Andreas and Seidl, David, A Luhmannian Perspective on Strategy: Strategy as Paradox and Meta-Communication (May 9, 2016). Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2777483

Andreas Rasche (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

David Seidl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Hottingerstrasse 10
Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.om.uzh.ch

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