Steven de Hertogh


Disentangling executive relationships in light of social autopoiesis”
(conducted together with Stijn Viaene)

When one starts to ponder the possible entropy of our social universe of communications, the emergence and persistence of organizations amid such potential communicative chaos seems improbable. A number of theorists have concluded from this thought experiment that the key to understanding the management will come from understanding how organizations can surface and survive from this primordial soup of communications. (Morgan, 1997; Knudsen, 2005; Ocasio 2005; Seidl, 2005)… Read more

My Claim: “To develop new pathways for management thinking, we propose to consider management as the act of influencing the processes and structures of social autopoiesis in organizations. We will illustrate this proposition by applying an autopoietic view on shared meaning creation between executives with different functional backgrounds, i.e. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs).”

My Expectations: “I hope my participation will allow me to explore this proposition with fellow researchers. Especially, I hope to learn from colleagues whether and how they are interested in exploring applications for the rather unexplored theory of social autopoiesis for ‘re-thinking management’.”

Steven De Hertogh is lecturer/research associate at Leuven University College, Belgium and PhD Candidate at University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Steven holds master’s degrees in General Management (Vlerick Business School, Belgium), International Relations & Conflict Management (KULeuven, Belgium), and Political Sciences (KULeuven, Belgium).
Over the past ten years, Steven has been researching, coaching and teaching on topics such as information systems management, business-IT alignment, digital innovation, enterprise 2.0, business intelligence, and CIO-issues; first at Vlerick Business School and currently at Leuven University College. On these topics, Steven has published cases, articles and research reports for magazines, conferences and journals such as: HICSS, Communications of the ACM, and Journal of Information Management.

Currently, Steven is involved in expanding the research footprint of the Department of Business Studies of Leuven University College. As such, he is engaged in development projects regarding blended learning, the integration of management and IT research, and business innovation for SMEs and social profit enterprises.
Since 2008, during his PhD-studies Steven has become intrigued by Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social autopoiesis and the implications thereof for approaching management problems. For example, he has applied (parts of) Luhmann’s theory to IT governance, executive relationships, and the design of decision support systems.