3.1 Research

  • smartASSIST. More information here

3.2 Monographs

  • Boundaries as Networks — Networks as Boundaries

3.3 Courses

  • Maschinen, Roboter und die Soziologie (Blockseminar) [Machines, Robots, and Sociology], Summer 2015, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Organisation, Netzwerk, Gesellschaft (Graduate) [Organization, Network, Society], Winter 2014/2015, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Soziologie des Managements [Sociology of Management], Winter 2014/2015, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Neue Organisationsformen, Summer 2014, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Organisierte Technik, Summer 2014, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Theorie der Gesellschaft, Winter 2013/2014, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Soziologie der Organisation, Winter 2013/2014, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Soziologische Überlegungen zur Künstlichen Intelligenz , Summer 2013, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Kognition und Gesellschaft, Summer 2013, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Organisation und Technik, Winter 2012/2013, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Organisationsdesign, Graduate Course, Winter 2012/2013, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Organisationsdesign (Summer 2012, RWTH Aachen University). Reading and discussing some classical sociological accounts on organizational design but also looking at the science of design (Herbert Simon) and new developments in sociology which could be exploited with regard to the issue of designing organizations.
  • Medien der Kommunikation (Winter 2011/2012, RWTH Aachen University).The seminar will try to convey some basics of media theory in order to highlight its distinctive perspective and its use for sociological reasoning. Media of dissemination are prominent but also interaction media and technological aspects are discussed.
  • Soziale Grenzen (Winter 2012012, RWTH Aachen University). How do we conceive of boundaries in sociological terms? What concepts and ideas are available? How is an observation of boundaries possible?
  • Identität und Kontrolle (Summer 2011, RWTH Aachen University). Discussion of the second and revised edition of Harrison White's contribution to social theory. But the course also includes a glance at other accounts regarding identity formation and social control (social behaviorism, identity control theory, historical sociology, constructivism) in order to get a rich picture of this distinction.
  • Systemtheorie der Organisation (Summer 2011, RWTH Aachen University). Presenting and reflecting both the distinctiveness of a systems theoretical view on organizing and its embeddedness in the tradition of organization theory.
  • Formale Soziologie (Winter 2010/2011, RWTH Aachen University). Reviewing the tradition with respect to the concept of form (Simmel, von Wiese) and looking for recent developments that pick up and refine this idea.
  • Grenzen der Organisation (Winter 2010/2011, RWTH Aachen University). The boundaries of organization(s) have always been fascinating scholars of organizations — especially sociologists. How should we conceive of them and what kind of assumptions are prevalent in this field of research?
  • Organisation und Gesellschaft (Summer 2010, RWTH Aachen University). Theories about the societal embeddedness of organizations and the impacts of organizations on modern society.
  • Netzwerktheorie (Summer 2010, RWTH Aachen University). Course about theoretical developments that might lead to some kind of relational sociology.
  • Organisation und Technik (Winter 09/10, RWTH Aachen University). Undergraduate course on theoretical and empirical connections of organization and technology.
  • Künstliche Intelligenz (Winter 09/10, RWTH Aachen University). How can sociology contribute to research on artificial intelligence and what are the sociological implications of so called “intelligent” machines?
  • Soziologie des Managements (Summer 09, RWTH Aachen University). Undergraduate course about the possibilities of a sociological concept of management.
  • Soziologische Theorien II (Übung) (Summer 09, RWTH Aachen University). Two undergraduate exercise courses on theories of differentiation and modernization.
  • Kognitive Soziologie (Winter 08/09, RWTH Aachen University). Undergraduate course on the spectrum and possibilities of cognitive sociology and its relation to cognitive science in the vein of Gregory Bateson, Heinz von Foerster, and Francisco Varela.
  • Bruno Latour’s “Eine neue Soziologie für eine neue Gesellschaft” (Winter 08/09, RWTH Aachen University). Undergraduate course on actor-network-theory.
  • Soziologische Theorien I (Übung) (Winter 08/09, RWTH Aachen University). Two undergraduate exercise courses on action theories and sociological and scientific reasoning.
  • Soziologie der Organisation (Summer 08, RWTH Aachen University). Course on the sociology of organization from the classics to current developments.
  • Management und Organisationen (Summer 07/08, Bielefeld University). Course on the sociology of management and its implications for organizations.
  • Organisation, Netzwerk, Gesellschaft (Winter 07/08, RWTH Aachen University). Course on network theory in relation to society on the one hand and organizations on the other.
  • Soziologische Theorie (Winter 07/08, RWTH Aachen University). Undergraduate ourse examining sociological theorizing.
  • Beratungsprojekte (2003-2007, University of Witten/Herdecke)
    Collegiate consulting projects combining sociological theory and field work (personal and/or standardized interviews) on behalf of external clients. Including weekly seminars with students and occassional meetings of the research group and clients. Every project is completed with a report containing advice for further operations. Clients included two banks (focus: merging or not), a real estate company (focus: shrinking cities), an employer’s association (focus: future task profile), and an automobile club (focus: defining their cultural embeddedness). A project examining the challenges of regional budgeting in a network of psychiatric institutions and another one contriving evaluation possibilities for a foundation in the field of cultural production are underway.
  • Systemtheorie (Winter 06/07, with Dirk Baecker, University of Witten/Herdecke). Graduate course about the basics of systems theory. Starting with classical accounts of cybernetics and predecessors and drifting to the sociological systems theories of Talcott Parsons and Niklas Luhmann via second order cybernetics and cognitive science.
  • Niklas Luhmann’s “Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft” (Winter 04/05, Summer 05, University of Witten/Herdecke), discussion group on Luhmann’s theory of society.
  • Einführung in die Managementtheorie, Exercise Course (Summer 03, University of Witten/Herdecke) in combination with Professor Baecker’s lecture.

3.4 Seminars

Sociology for Managers & Consultants

  • FundaMentals. Seminars that convey fundamental ideas, notions, and concepts of systems theory, organizational research, and sociology. For an early formal description of the knot to be tied and solved in this seminar (with respect to Niklas Luhmann) take a look at this [pdf].
  • The Club. Discussion group for managers, consultants, and everyone else interested in systems theory and beyond. The membership idea intends to facilitate the development of a kind of club atmosphere that allows for deeper penetration of topics and profound discussions about recent theoretical and sociological trends. Protagonists: Torsten Groth, Eva Kiefer, and Athanasios Karafillidis. Take a look here.

Management Zentrum Witten (2005-2012)

  • ShortCuts Central ideas and/or books of organization and systems theory. ShortCuts have dealt with Power, Networks, Mindful Management, and The Social Form of Organization (2006-2010).
  • Management im Formkalkül. Assistance for Dirk Baecker in seminars applying George Spencer Brown’s calculus of form on issues of organization, management, and leadership (2004-2006).
  • Workshop “Organisation als Formalismus” (w/ Dirk Baecker) in the course of the first X-Organisationen conference in Berlin, November 17-19, 2005.

Heitger Consulting (2009)

  • Change Essentials. Ten-day program conveying basic knowledge and tools for initiating and managing change projects in organizations. Supporting Barbara Heitger with regard to systems theoretical and sociological ideas. (2009)