Social systems are produced by people’s interactions. They are by and large the outcome of self‐organising processes, which often produce undesirable properties like corruption, violence and other forms of social malaise. Yet, we want transparent, fair and effective social systems. Explores some of the issues involved in the production of desirable social systems. It is argued that this production requires more than self‐organisation, it requires also the participants’ awareness of the processes grounding their purposes and values in social reality and the use of this awareness to steer their recurrent interactions towards the production of a desirable social system. This is called a process of self‐construction. Understanding this process requires clarifying the role of organisation in the transformation of collectives into social systems. In the end, more than clarification, this paper offers a research agenda.
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