The Case of Value Based Communication—Epistemological and Methodological Reflections from a System Theoretical Perspective

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FORUM: QUALITATIVE
SOCIAL RESEARCH
SOZIALFORSCHUNG

Volume 11, No. 3, Art. 17
September 2010

The Case of Value Based Communication—Epistemological and
Methodological Reflections from a System Theoretical Perspective
Victoria von Groddeck
Key words:

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to reflect the epistemological and methodological aspects of an

communication

empirical research study which analyzes the phenomenon of increased value communication within

theory; form

business organizations from a system theoretical perspective in the tradition of Niklas LUHMANN.

analysis;

Drawing on the theoretical term of observation it shows how a research perspective can be

functional

developed which opens up the scope for an empirical analysis of communication practices. This

analysis; Niklas

analysis focuses on the reconstruction of these practices by first understanding how these practices

Luhmann;

stabilize themselves and second by contrasting different practices to educe an understanding of

organization

different forms of observation of the relevant phenomenon and of the functions of these forms.

studies; George

Thus, this approach combines system theoretical epistemology, analytical research strategies, such

Spencer-Brown;

as form and functional analysis, and qualitative research methods, such as narrative interviews,

system theory;

participant observation and document analysis.

value communication Table of Contents
1. System Theory and Empirical Research: Epistemological Preposition
2. The Context and Research Question of the Case Example
3. The Form of Research Observation
3.1 Organizations in the society as a "society of presences"
3.2 Values
3.3 Analytical strategy and the application of methods
4. Analyzing Value Communication: Forms and Functions
4.1 The uncertainty of heterogeneous…...

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