This introductory chapter elaborates some of the key ideas which shaped the concept of this book. The overriding idea is that autopoiesis theory has the potential to provide a unifying framework for the study of organizational phenomena in the 21st century. Although organization studies have recently had no shortage of new paradigms and approaches — such as postmodernism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology, reflexivity, and critical theory — the field seems to be expanding in ways that make it increasingly difficult to comprehend, especially for the uninitiated.
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