A Luhmannian Perspective on Strategy: Strategy as Paradox and Meta-Communication
29 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016
Date Written: May 9, 2016
Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social systems is based on two revolutionary ideas: firstly, that the social world should be conceptualized as consisting of nothing but communications; and secondly, that communications are produced not by human beings but by the network of communications of which they are part. We discuss the insights that can be gained by applying this theory to the study of strategic management. We show that it leads to a re-conceptualization of central issues concerning strategy process, strategy content, and strategy context. On this basis, we offer an outline of a framework for studying strategic management from a Luhmannian perspective. This new framework highlights the paradoxical nature of strategizing and conceptualizes strategic management as meta-communication in organizations.
Keywords: strategic management, strategy, Luhmann, systems theory, paradox
JEL Classification: M1, M10, M12
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