The Baecker Firm
After having written down the form model of organization I thought about my habilitation Die Form des Unternehmens (1993) and tried to sort out which resources I had used up to then to bring more sociology, an not just industrial or organization sociology, into a theory of the firm.
The Spencer-Brown model or catject I came up with back in 2004 is not to be taken completely seriously, to be sure, since there are no ‘Baecker firms’ in real life, as far as I know, but it least it pins down what I became used to look at with respect to organizations when not trying to reduce them to bureaucratic, administrative, managerial or even organization theory caricatures of themselves.
I was somehow surprised back then that the more seriously you take social theory and ecological theory resources to model a firm the more necessary it becomes to take also certain economic theory resources very seriously. This is why Arrow’s risk aversion economy and Gutenberg’s Betriebswirtschaftslehre figure prominently in this model.
To avoid any pitfalls cultivated both by systemic consulting thinking and much of management thinking, however, who take an organization to be some communicative or profit system without asking what the communication is about, or where the profits come from (I exaggerate), I started the model with Peter Heintel’s thinking and group dynamics consulting about products (as part of his concept of intervention research).
Thus, I came up with the following model: