This paper seeks to address the need for a comprehensive theoretical reference underlying the concerns of social complexity. The shortcomings of a very powerful yet cognitively biased theoretical model like Luhmann's theory of social systems especially call for the integration of the whole person into conceptualising social complexity. The paper aims to question what the conditions are for the possibility to successfully conceptualise social complexity.
Based on field research to explore the practical challenges of dealing with social complexity, the paper comprises discourse analysis and literature review. Luhmann's theory of social systems proved to be a fruitful starting point to integrate the latter research in neurosciences in a systemic way.
The paper finds that embedded mind thinking and holonic evolution of organism, psyche and society emerged out of the research as powerful thought figures. They allow for an improved practical and theoretical navigation on the ocean of social complexity.
The results implications for how we conceptualise social complexity and the ways we approach ourselves, how we govern, teach, heal, coach, learn, train, create, improve and innovate. Increasing our capabilities to meet social complexity will improve management, change, governance and project performance.
Addressing Luhmann's theory of social systems in the broader context of social complexity and neurosciences allowed for a reintegration of the whole person into the field of social complexity based not only on meaning but on feeling as well.
Klein, L. (2012), "The three inevitabilities of human being: A conceptual hierarchy model approaching social complexity", Kybernetes, Vol. 41 No. 7/8, pp. 977-984. https://doi.org/10.1108/03684921211257829Download as .RIS
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