• Repensando los límites de las organizaciones por medio de la teoría de sistemas organizacionales de Niklas Luhmann
  • Rethinking Organizational Boundaries via Luhmann’s Theory of Organized Systems
Maria Pilar Opazo, Dario Rodriguez


Este artículo examina el modo en que la teoría de sistemas organizados de Luhmann puede servir para ampliar nuestra comprensión de los límites organizacionales. Revisamos, de manera sistemática, cuatro componentes de la obra de Luhmann: i) su distinción básica entre organización y entorno, ii) la apertura y clausura del funcionamiento de la organización, iii) el papel de las comunicaciones y decisiones en la identificación de los límites de las organizaciones y, finalmente, iv) el énfasis que pone Luhmann sobre la coordinación en la construcción de los límites organizacionales. Discutimos los puntos más destacados tanto de divergencia como de correspondencia entre el trabajo de Luhmann y otros enfoques teóricos competidores para entender las organizaciones. Para concluir, se discuten contribuciones potenciales de la teoría luhmanianna para análisis, tanto empíricos como teóricos, de las organizaciones contemporáneas.


This article examines how Luhmann's theory of organized systems can be used to expand our understanding of organizational boundaries. In a systematic way, we examine four central components of Luhmann's work: i) its basic distinction between organization and environment, ii) the openness and closeness of the organizations’ functioning, iii) the role of communications and decisions in identifying the limits of organizations and, lastly, iv) Luhmann’s emphasis on coordination in the construction of organizational boundaries. We discuss the salient points of both divergence and correspondence between Luhmann’s work and contending theoretical approaches to organizations. Potential contributions of Luhmann´s theory to analyses of contemporary organizations, both empirical and theoretical, are discussed.

Palabras clave

Organizaciones; Límites organizacionales; Teoría sistémica; Redes sociales; Niklas Luhmann


Organizations; Organizational boundaries; Systems theory; Social networks; Niklas Luhmann

Texto completo: PDF


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DOI: 10.5354/0718-0527.2017.46140