Tag Archives: autopoietic systems

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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The Viable System Model as a Framework for Understanding Organizations

The Viable System Model (VSM) is not a new idea. Created by Stafford Beer over twenty years ago, it has been used extensively as a conceptual tool for understanding organizations, redesigning them (where appropriate) and supporting the management of change. Despite its successful application … Continue reading

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Autopoietic Viable System Model

This article considers the Viable System Model (VSM) from the viewpoint of autopoiesis. Looking at the lowest recursion level, a VSM prototype can be found; namely, people’s interactivities are the source of viability and produce the system. I call the … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis and Spirituality

The term “autopoiesis” was introduced by Maturana and Varela around 1972 by combining the Greek words auto (self-) and poiesis (creation, production) to refer to the mechanism by which living systems continually produce themselves as autonomous unities. “When we speak … Continue reading

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The Organization of the Living – A Theory of the Living Organization

Humberto Maturana. My purpose in this article is to present a theory of the organization of living systems as autonomous entities, and a theory of the organization of the nervous system as a closed network of interacting neurons structurally coupled … Continue reading

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