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Mayrhofer, Wolfgang
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[Journal:] Management Revue [ISSN:] 1861-9916 [Publisher:] Hampp [Place:] Mering [Volume:] 15 [Year:] 2004 [Issue:] 2 [Pages:] 178-191
Social systems theory as developed by Niklas Luhmann is an option for the theoretical foundation of Human Resource Management (HRM). After clarifying the advantages of using a grand (social) theory as the basic theoretical perspective, the roots of this social systems theory - the deterministic view of systems as machines, the open systems approach and non-linear systems theory - are addressed. Based on the view of social systems as autopoietically closed systems, five major contributions to a theoretical foundation of HRM are identified: (1) the conceptualisation of organising and managing human resources as social processes, thus overcoming an individualistic angle; (2) the new importance of individuals as essential element in the system's environment; (3) the abstention form far reaching or highly unrealistic assumptions about the 'nature' of human beings; (4) the interaction between various levels and units of analysis built into the theory which is essential for comprehensive and in-depth analyses of HR phenomena and (5) the openness for additional theories for which social systems theory provides the overall framework.
systems theory
Human Resource Management
organisation theory
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