- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies, Continuing Entanglements
- Michel Foucault and the Administering of Lives
- Bourdieu and Organizational Theory: A Ghostly Apparition?
- The Making of a Paradigm: Exploring the Potential of the Economy of Convention and Pragmatic Sociology of Critique
- Bruno Latour: An Accidental Organization Theorist
- A Theory of ‘Agencing’: On Michel Callon’s Contribution to Organizational Knowledge and Practice
- Niklas Luhmann as Organization Theorist
- Jürgen Habermas and Organization Studies: Contributions and Future Prospects
- Bhaskar and Critical Realism
- The Comparative Analysis of Capitalism and the Study of Organizations
- C. Wright Mills and the Theorists of Power
- Organizational Analysis: Goffman and Dramaturgy
- Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology
- Rational Choice Theory and the Analysis of Organizations
- Clifford Geertz and the Interpretation of Organizations
- Risk, Social Theories, and Organizations
- Arlie Russell Hochschild: Spacious Sociologies of Emotion
- Discourse and Communication
- The Second Time Farce: Business School Ethicists and the Emergence of Bastard Rawlsianism
- Hayek and Organization Studies
- Social Movement Theory and Organization Studies
- What’s New in the ‘<i>New</i>, New Economic Sociology’ and Should Organization Studies Care?
- Critical Theory and Organization Studies
- British Industrial Sociology and Organization Studies: A Distinctive Contribution
- Anthony Giddens and Structuration Theory
- Engendering the Organizational: Feminist Theorizing and Organization Studies
- Organization Studies and the Subjects of Imperialism
- Space and Organization Studies
- Organization Studies, Sociology, and the Quest for a Public Organization Theory
- What Makes Organization? Organizational Theory as a ‘Practical Science’
Abstract and Keywords
Niklas Luhmann ranks as one of the most important German social theorists of the twentieth century. While he is often portrayed as a general social theorist or even as a theorist of society, this chapter argues that he was first and foremost an organization theorist. There are two different phases in his work: the first is characterized by his interest in organizational structures. Applying his functional method, he compared different formal and informal structures with regard to their capacity to reduce complexity and thus enable organizational members to act. The second is marked by Luhmann’s ‘autopoietic turn’ and his processual view of organizations. Organizations were thereby treated as one particular type of system within his general systems theory. This allowed him to address organizations in their relationship to other systems in their environment. In each phase of his work Luhmann made important contributions to organization theory.
David Seidl is Professor at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he holds the Chair of Organization and Management, and is Research Associate at Cambridge University (UK). His research is focused on organization theory and strategy, in which he draws on a range of different theoretical perspectives including systems theory and practice theory. His work has been published in leading organization and management journals. He has (co-)produced eight books including Niklas Luhmann and Organization Studies (2005). He is a Senior Editor of Organization Studies and an editorial board member of six other journals.
Hannah Mormann (MA, University of Bielefeld) is presently a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland). She is completing her PhD at the Institute for World Society Studies at the University of Bielefeld (Germany). Her research interests include organizational sociology and technology studies, in particular the case of business software as a pattern of globalization.
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