Category Archives: Autopoiesis

Emerging Autopoietic Communities – Scalability of Knowledge Transfer in Complex Systems

Knowledge-based communities are important but poorly understood systems for helping enterprises maintain their organizational integrity and address organizational imperatives. Based on an autopoietic theory of organization, we examine the emergence and development of knowledge-based communities at different scales up to … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis and Knowledge in Self-Sustaining Organizational Systems

Knowledge and the communication of knowledge are critical for self-sustaining organizations comprised of people and the tools and machines that extend peoples’ physical and cognitive capacities. Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela proposed the concept of autopoiesis (“self” “production”) as a … Continue reading

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Emergence and Growth of Knowledge and Diversity in Hierarchically Complex Living Systems

An environment conducting a flux of energy and materials between temporally or spatially separated sources and sinks may become more complexly structured due to the emergence of cyclical, dissipative transport systems. Selection favors transport systems able to stabilize themselves against … Continue reading

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Time-Based Frameworks for Valuing Knowledge: Maintaining Strategic Knowledge

To survive and flourish in a changing and unpredictable world, organizations and people must maintain strategic power over necessary resources – often in the face of competition. Knowledge contributes to that strategic power. Without vigilance to maintain its currency and … Continue reading

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Requisite Variety, Autopoiesis, and Self-organization

Ashby’s law of requisite variety states that a controller must have at least as much variety (complexity) as the controlled. Maturana and Varela proposed autopoiesis (self-production) to define living systems. Living systems also require to fulfill the law of requisite … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis in Creativity and Art

The term autopoiesis, (meaning ‘self’) and ‘poiesis’ (meaning ‘creation, production’) defines a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself. The term was introduced by the theoretical biologists, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, in 1972 to define the self-maintaining chemistry of … Continue reading

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Re-reading Dewey through the lens of complexity science

This paper rereads John Dewey’s works in the light of complexity theory and self-organizing systems. Dewey’s pragmatic inquiry is posited as inspirational for developing a logic of education and learning that would incorporate novelty and creativity, these artistic elements being part and parcel … Continue reading

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An Aristotelian Solution to the Problem of Social Autopoiesis

This paper addresses the problem of social autopoiesis. We argue that to date no an adequate solution to the problem of social autopoiesis exists and put this down to the lack of an adequate conception of a social autopoietic unity. We … Continue reading

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The Problems of Social Autopoiesis

Zeleny and Hufford apply the concept of autopoiesis to three different classes of systems – biological, chemical, and social. My response is concerned with the latter and in particular with Zeleny and Hufford’s claims that social systems are autopoietic and those … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis vs. social autopoiesis

The main objective of this study is to revisit the fundamental postulations of autopoietic self-production wrapped within the autopoietic six-point key and to investigate whether or not firms as specific social systems can be treated as autopoietic unities. In order to do … Continue reading

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