The present analysis of the Euro looks for the marks that function systems make on what we commonly take for the European money. Clearly distinguishing between coins and currency, the Euro coins and banknotes are not taken for economic tokens per se but for storage devices that contain both economic and non-economic information. A systemic analysis of the function system references on these storage devices shows that the economy has left fewer marks on the Euro than politics, art, and the mass media systems have. We, hence, argue that “the Euro” “is” not just money with a political second mission but rather can be understood as an indicator of the relative relevance that specific function systems do or do not have for the European societies and the European society.
This article argues that analyses of value semantics in organisational image brochures, websites, and further official documents do not give information about an organisation’s ethical performance. Based on a systems theoretical definition of values, the case is made for a distinction of communication on values and value communication, the latter of which is defined as implicit form of communication. This distinction is illustrated by examples of personal and organisational value communication at Coca Cola France, Marriott Belgium, Accenture India, and two French retailers as well as a contrastive discussion of the CSR activities of Grünenthal GmbH and Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling. The findings suggest that research on business performance management by metaphor should be complemented with a focus on management by allusion, the latter of which could turn out to be effective to such extent that it finally calls for ethical concerns itself.
The distinction of function systems such as the political system, the economy, science, religion, or the legal system is considered a key principle of modern societies. Modern man knows how to talk business and when to avoid politics or religion in conversations; considers the buying of votes as corruption; and differentiates show trials from normal cases. Though these and similar differentiations are naturally applied by a considerable part of the world population, the function system science has as of yet hardly explored the forms and functions of functional differentiation. What is known so far at least is that function systems emerge from the use of symbolically generalized communication media such as power, money, truth, or belief, whose application recodes communication according to the individual function system’s function. Functional differentiation thus adds code values to almost every aspect of social life, hence multiplying social realities, and constantly re-/creating the augmented reality of modernity.
Abstract: The present article claims that value communication literally goes without saying. Research in organizational value communication as in corporate image documents is therefore assumed to have nothing to do with the analysis of explicit value semantics. This system-theoretical claim is supported by an analysis of corporate value semantics, which is particularly focused on the copying of value semantics from one corporate website to another. As a result, we present a list of 52 companies that have copied value statements from corporate websites of RobecoSAM sector leaders listed in the DJSI. In referring to these examples, we demonstrate that the copying of value semantics makes the best case for exercising caution when it comes to the idea that value semantics promote organizational goals (…).
Steffen Roth, ESC Rennes School of Business, France
Conceptual or empirical submissions of 3000-6000 words could focus on contemporary or historical examples of pirate entrepreneurship. Who has labelled which forms of entrepreneurial activities as piracy? How has piracy contributed to regional economic development? Which particular forms of political environments have an elective affinity for piracy? How do pirates share the booty? Which forms of (self-) organisation have been realised by pirate organisations? What are, or could be, past, present or future pirate business models? Who are or have been major antagonists and allies of pirate entrepreneurs? How is piracy related to congenial concepts, such as hacking or hacktivism? How about piracy and creative destruction? Is there a measurable link between piracy and creativity? Is piracy a feature, tool, or virtue of emerging economies? What maps do pirates have of the blue ocean?
Abstract: Despite a certified need for stronger ties between regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and larger networks, and despite an emerging discourse on beneficial interlinks between crowdsourcing and urban development, the relationship between crowdsourcing and regional development is underexplored. Unlike the few existing reports on voluntary bottom-up crowdsourcing initiatives for regional development, the focus of the present article is on two cases of top-down initiatives of crowdsourcing for regional development launched by institutional actors in the Swiss Canton of Valais and the Italian autonomous province, South Tyrol. The results of a comparison of the two cases suggest consideration of the strength of regional ties as factors that undermine crowd wisdom and flow as well as exercising caution with quantitative idea selection processes, at least in the context of smaller regional crowdsourcing projects.
Abstract:Despite its influence in Central European sociology, Niklas Luhmann’s Social Systems theory remains a marginal branch of international sociology. In this paper, the theory questions the reasons for its own marginality in general and for its marginality in the Anglophone centers of sociology in particular, with the latter still being a surprise against the background of the theory’s cybernetic roots in the US. The theory arrives at the conclusion that, while Europe, or ‘the continent’, is still perceived as old compared with the Anglophone new world(s), it still is Anglophone sociology that preserves ‘Old European’ semantics. Sociology in continental ‘Old Europe’, however, seems to have a chance of slowly being acquainted with a new, post-enlightenment mindset focused on semantics and communication rather than on humans and action.
Abstract: The claim of the present article is that human mortality makes a case for the discovery of the immortal nature of the person. Based on a clear distinction of the concepts of the human being and the person, human beings and persons are considered immortal insofar as both entities evidently do not qualify for a definition as living systems. On the one hand, human beings are presented as neither lifeless nor living systems. On the other hand, persons are introduced as lifeless systems and, as a result, immortal system. This claim is extended by the statement that, even if supposed to be living systems, persons could be considered at least potentially immortal, which is illustrated by a brief and proxy case of the person of Karl Marx.
Markets are considered economic phenomena, which is said to be true even if markets are considered social structures, cultural fields, or simply politics, at the same time. Against this background, the present paper argues for a polyphonic market concept. Unlike the popular economy-biased notion of markets, such a concept allows for the analysis of markets in eras and areas where functional differentiation did or does not exist or play a major role. Furthermore, it turns the idea of the ultimately economic nature of markets from an axiom to a research question. In doing so, it breaks ground for research in major trends in functional differentiation and in the preferences for particular function systems featured by concrete groups, milieus or organizations.