Self as system: Comparing the grounded theory of protecting self and autopoiesis

World Futures 62 (7):516 – 523 (2006)
The author compares the theoretical elements of her grounded theory, Protecting Self: Experiencing Organizational Change, with autopoiesis, a biological theory of living systems. Autopoiesis, meaning self-production, is a closed system that recursively generates the same organization, components, and network of processes from which they are produced. A cautious extrapolation of theoretical similarities between the two theories is presented, including self-referentiality, self-maintenance, circularity, individuality, and the maintenance of identity. The author concludes that this comparison provides a thought-provoking argument that supports the difficult process of individual and organizational learning, growth, and change.
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