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Sociological Process Theories

The sociological literature dealing explicitly with change and organisational processes, is very fragmented. Even the key words, under which processual developments are negotiated, are manifold: path dependency, pattern interruption, transformation, frame analysis, equilibrium theories, steady-state theory, sense-making models, organisational culture, structuration theory, organisational learning, figuration theory, interactionism, to name just a few.

These concepts do not lie on the same level, choose different displays, sometimes they emanate from actors, from actions, from systems, or from motivations, sometimes from purposes, from functions, from institutions, ethnologies, evolution or structures.

In all these approaches valuable insights can be found and preconditions determined which are questionable. A knowledgeable and comprehensive overview regarding this can be found in Bernhard Mierbach’s process theory. For our purposes, the development of organisational guiding processes in organisations, all this research contributes an infinite source for researching the reciprocal influences and dependencies in the self-organisation of the organisation. At the same time, one must keep in mind that the attempts to direct and regulate organisations and the undermining of all these attempts through the organisation itself, remains a significant principle of system-theoretical thinking: Every security achieved out of the sea of uncertainty creates, by its very action, new uncertainty. To make a virtue out of this, is the theoretical, as well as the practical demand of these meta-theoretical considerations.