Social Science Information 35 (2):283-306 (1996)

Luhmann has proposed a second-order theory of social communications, but its formalization in terms of second-order systems theory has remained underdeveloped. Second-order systems theory is a formal option and, furthermore, Shannon's mathematical theory of communication is available. The operationalization of Luhmann-type communications in terms of Shannon-type communications has theoretical consequences: one is able to distinguish, more clearly than Luhmann did, between not meaningful information and its potential meaning after selection by an observing system. Structural coupling between co-evolving systems can be distinguished from operational coupling between subsystems. This operationalization provides us with means to clarify, among other things, the theoretical debate between Münch and Luhmann about Parsons' concept of “interpenetration”. Technological developments can be analysed in terms of operational and recursive coupling at the interfaces between sciences and markets. In a triple helix model of university-industry-government relations codes of functionally differentiated communication can be translated into each other. Interorganizational configurations support the emerging communication systems.
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DOI 10.1177/053901896035002007
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References found in this work BETA

The Archaeology of Knowledge.Michel Foucault - 1970 - Social Science Information 9 (1):175-185.
Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft.Niklas Luhmann - 1999 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 61 (2):388-389.

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Foundations of Niklas Luhmann’s Theory of Social Systems.Alex Viskovatoff - 1999 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (4):481-516.

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