Social Systems Theory and Engaged Scholarship: Co-designing a semantic reservoir in a polycentric network

Margit Neisig*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Purpose – Which role may an engaged luhmannian scholar play in the constantly ongoing process of creating a shared semantic reservoir in a polycentric network of organizations? The purpose is to bridge the gulf between theorizing and practice in such contexts. The focus is on building an engaged research strategy for the evolvement of a semantic reservoir in polycen-tric, coupled organizational networks.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper combines social systems theory with the concept of engaged scholarship and with design thinking in dialogue with neighboring theories based on process theory, in particular, Karl Weick’s sensemaking theory.
Findings – Conceptualization of an engaged semantic research strategy bridging the gulf of theorizing and practice in polycentric networks.
Originality/value – Bridging the gulf between theorizing and practice in management theory is under-explored especially when the theories are built on complicated conceptualizations, polycentric contexts and are not normative.
Keywords,- Social systems theory, engaged scholarship, design thinking, process theory, pol-ycentric networks, shared semantic reservoir.
Paper type - Conceptual paper
TidsskriftJournal of Organizational Change Management
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)763-777
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 16 sep. 2021


  • Design thinking
  • Engaged scholarship
  • Polycentric networks
  • Shared semantic reservoir
  • Social systems theory

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