David Seidl brings together two important issues in organization and management studies in this volume: the concept and related theory of organizational identity, and autopoietic organization theory (as originally developed by Niklas Luhmann). The contribution of the book is twofold: it provides an introduction to autopoietic organization theory and it provides a new perspective on organizational identity and self-transformation. Thus the book is relevant to both organization theorists interested in new approaches to organization and to researchers of organizational identity. The themes are reflected in the structure of the book. Chapters one and two provide an introduction to Niklas Luhmann's organization theory. Based on this, chapter three develops a new concept of organizational identity. In chapters four and five a theory of organizational self-transformation (i.e. change of identity) is developed.
Table of Contents
Contents: General Introduction; Autopoiesis, Luhmann, Spencer Brown; Organisation as autopoietic system; Organisational identity; The logic of self-transformation; An evolutionary model of self-transformation; General conclusion: the distinctions of the study; Bibliography; Index.
'David Seidl's book is to be welcomed. He takes organizations as his focus and explores in great detail how Luhmann conceptualises them as autopoietic systems. This book provides an excellent resource for those interested in new perspectives on organization theory and also for those interested more widely in Luhmann's social theory.' Professor John Mingers, University of Kent, UK 'There are two sides to any organizational identity, a determinate one and an indeterminate one. David Seidl succeeds in showing that any entrepreneurial function necessarily assumes that both are working together. This alone is turning classical organization theory into a postclassical one, places evolutionary sensitivity and undecidability where it belongs, and puts an end to the idea of seeking identity in definite purpose.' Professor Dirk Baecker, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany 'David Seidl's book can be read as a systematic and meticulous analysis of the work of human systems in the continuous work of saving the structures and appearances of the human world. He places autopoiesis in its social context through the work of Niklas Luhmann. Luhmann's comprehensive and probing analysis invites us to re-interpret contemporary views of organization by opening up radically new vistas for re-thinking organization as a profound and existential theme.' Professor Robert Cooper, Keele University, UK