Are organizations autopoietic? A call for new debate

Robert Kay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Discussion and debate over the application of autopoiesis to social systems has been enthusiastic since Maturana and Varela's (1980) theory was translated from Spanish into English in the early 1980s. In this paper I will examine the debate so far, in order to propose a new 'frame' for discussion based upon the establishment of a working ontology for organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-477
Number of pages17
JournalSystems Research and Behavioral Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Autopoiesis
  • Observer
  • Organizations
  • World-view


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