Publication 2715

Biggiero L. (2001) Are firms autopoietic systems. In: Geyer F. & van der Zouwen J. (eds.) Sociocybernetics. Complexity, autopoiesis, and observation of social systems. Greenwood Press, Westport CT: 125–139. Fulltext at
Excerpt: It is wondered whether firms are autopoietic systems that is, whether the paradigm of autopoiesis is applicable to for-profit organizations. Although only applications to other sciences will be touched upon, it will be clear that results can be extended to all kinds of social systems. This argument can be summarized as follows: Thesis I: Autopoiesis is not applicable to profit organizations or, in other words, firms are not autopoietic systems. Thesis II: Autopoiesis does not coincide with second-order cybernetics, whose basic concepts, if not taken as on/off conditions, can he applied to social systems.


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