Tag Archives: autopoiesis

Innovation and Organization: An Overview from the Perspective of Luhmann’s Autopoiesis

Few words in modern society have become as positively charged as the word innovation. Of course, premodern societies were also innovative in their way. Still, technology, ideas, and organizational forms have changed over time, and it is only in modern society that innovation … Continue reading

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Overcoming Autopoiesis: An Enactive Detour on the Way from Life to Society

Modern organic metaphors for society have run parallel to the very idea of sociology as a science, starting with Comte and Spencer’s use of the term “social organism” (Comte, 1830–42; Spencer, 1897). These metaphors provide a self-renewing source of debate, … Continue reading

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Outlining the Terrain of Autopoietic Theory

Although Maturana and Varela’s idea of autopoiesis is not new to organization studies — it has hovered around the margins of the field for several decades — it has yet to enter the mainstream of organizational thinking. One can debate the reasons for … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis Theory and Organization: An Overview

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 … Continue reading

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Autopoietic Systems, Not Corporate Actors: A Sketch of Niklas Luhmann’s Theory of Organisations

Niklas Luhmann’s sociological systems theory sees in an organisation neither a group of acting individuals nor a single corporative actor, but instead a social system. For Luhmann, a social system is a closed network of communication processes that recursively engender … Continue reading

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Organisms, activity, and being: on the substance of process ontology

According to contemporary ‘process ontology’, organisms are best conceptualised as spatio-temporally extended entities whose mereological composition is fundamentally contingent and whose essence consists in changeability. In contrast to the Aristotelian precepts of classical ‘substance ontology’, from the four-dimensional perspective of … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis, biological autonomy and the process view of life

In recent years, an increasing number of theoretical biologists and philosophers of biology have been opposing reductionist research agendas by appealing to the concept of biological autonomy which draws on the older concept of autopoiesis. In my paper, I investigate … Continue reading

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Toward an Anthropology of Ethics: Foucault and the Pedagogies of Autopoiesis

Anthropology has come to exhibit a certain ethical self-consciousness, a certain ethical anxiety, which the immediate heirs of Franz Boas would hardly have countenanced, perhaps hardly have under- stood. It emerged with the protests of the 1960s and had its earliest collective voice in … Continue reading

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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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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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