Stefan Kuehl is a sociologist (Professor at the University of Bielefeld), as well as an organisational consultant. His life, which straddles both worlds, is reflected in several respects within his writings: On the one hand, he maintains the distance of the observing scientist when viewing common practice in organisations and consultancy, which enables him to perceive the accepted norms in a new, different and questioning way. On the other hand, he knows about the ‘underlying’ issues, and, thus, of the limitations for those who carry responsibility in organisations and who must bring about change. In this way, he has a keen eye on the informal side of organisations, the hidden and implicit patterns, and can, thus, also describe these with theoretical concepts.
He is close to the systems theory of Luhmann, and at the same time, keeps a critical distance. Here, too, his thinking “This as well as that” or “Neither-nor” is the basis for avoiding easily obtained theoretical recipes, stipulations and obscure normative ideas, and for pointing out, again and again, the necessity for continuously reviewing accepted concepts in a fluid world. In this respect, his way of thinking is very close to that of this meta-theoretical effort.