Klaus Krippendorff, Ph.D.

Portrait of Klaus Krippendorff
Gregory Bateson Emeritus Professor of Communication

Klaus Krippendorff's research focuses on the role of language and dialogue in the social construction of reality: identities, institutions, cultural artifacts, power, Otherness, and meanings; emancipatory epistemology (hermeneutics) of human communication and the design of technology; content analysis, semantics, pragmatics of social interaction, and related research methods; conversation theory, information theory, and cyberspace; and second-order cybernetics of complex communication systems and their reflexive, self-organizing, and autopoietic properties.

The following are links to lists of Krippendorff's publications, organized by subject area:


Uploaded on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 11:25am
The Drexel InterView, a unit of the Pennoni Honors College of Drexel University, is hosted by best-selling author, critic, and Drexel University...
Uploaded on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 12:00am
Klaus Krippendorff presents thekey concepts of human-centered design during a talk delivered at Konstfack in Stockholm in 2012.
Uploaded on Monday, October 10, 2011 - 4:28pm
October 10, 2011 research lecture at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

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Language and dialogue in the social construction of various realities, institutions, cultural artifacts, structures of power, Otherness, meanings. Emancipatory epistemology (hermeneutics) for human communication and design of technology. Content analysis, semantics, pragmatics of social interaction, and associated research methods. Second-order cybernetics of complex communication systems, their reflexive, self-organizing, and autopoietic properties. Information theory.  Visit Krippendorff's Alpha Reliability site.

Courses Taught

Visit COMM 000: Seminar in Message Analysis

Advanced topics in the analysis of verbal and non-verbal message content.

COMM 000: Information in Qualitative Data

The course develops multivariate methods for exploring a variety of qualitative data and simultaneously broadens concepts of information and communication in a variety of social settings.

COMM 000: Cybernetics, Systems and Media

An introduction to cybernetics and systems theory, whose concepts are fueling the present information revolution.

COMM 000: Semantics in Design

How artifacts, especially language-like or intelligent technologies, constitute themselves in various social practices and in their users' understanding. Key to this approach is the design of interfaces with technology.

COMM 380: Cybernetics and Society

Models of communication, control, self-organization, and autopoiesis are applied to various social phenomena and contrasted with other conceptual frameworks in the social sciences.

COMM 360: Language in the Social Construction of Realities

This course concerns the discursive practices that constitute the realities we come to live in and observe – demonstrated with a variety of concepts: facts, emotions, social problems, race, gender, hegemony, family, science, technology, and more.

COMM 380: Social Cybernetics

Basic ideas about communication in society are explored from a cybernetic and systems theoretical perspective. Evolutionary aspects of cultural artifacts, the lives of communication networks, and other information technologies.

COMM 660: Introduction to Qualitative Textual Research (formerly Semantics of Communication)

The course is ethnographic in its approach to data collection (interviews, observational accounts); analytical in the way it probes its data (with models drawn largely from cultural anthropology); qualitative in the empirical methods it encourages (metaphor, conversation, and discourse analysis); dialogic in its respect for multiple voices (as opposed to the more familiar monologue); and critical or emancipatory in the consequences it aspires to.

Content Analysis: An introduction to the analysis of large bodies of textual matter, its methods, empirical problems, theories underlying these analytical efforts, and computer aided text analysis.

COMM 760: Social Constructions of Reality

An inquiry into the principles and processes by which realities come to be socially constructed and discursively maintained.

Awards & Honors
  • 2017  Innovation Award for Method from ICA’s Mass communication Division
  • 2016  Award “For his career achievements in CYBERNETICS APPLIED TO COMMUNICATION”, from Business Systems Lab
  • 2016  Elected Fellow of the International Communicology Institute (ICI)
  • 2016  Elected to the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetics Sciences (IASCYS)
  • 2012  Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa from the Linnaeus University in Kalmar/Växjö, Sweden
  • 2012  “Article of the Year” award by the Communication Theory and Methodology division of AEJMC for "Agreement and Information in the Reliability of Coding"
  • 2012  Elected Fellow of the American Society for Cybernetics
  • 2011  Member of Honorary Board of the World Complexity Science Academy
  • 2011  Medal for contributions to understanding complex systems by the World Complexity Science Academy
  • 2010-now  Emeritus Professor of Communication. The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2008-2009  Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Kalmar, Sweden
  • 2004  Award of the Norbert Wiener / Hermann Schmidt Prize by the German Society for Cybernetics, German Society for Pedagogy and Information, at the University of Vienna
  • 2004  ICA Fellows Book Award for Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology
  • 2001  Award of the Norbert Wiener Medal in Cybernetics in gold by the American Society for Cybernetics
  • 2000-2003  Gregory Bateson Professor for Cybernetics, Language, and Culture, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1998  Named by graduate students as the teacher of the best doctoral course taken at the University of Pennsylvania
  • 1998 (Fall)  Visiting Professor, Musachino Art University, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1998  Elected International Fellow of the Society for Science of Design Studies, Japan
  • 1994 (Spring)  Visiting Professor, University of New Hampshire, Durham NH
  • 1993-2002  Member of the Graduate Group in Conflict Analysis and Peace Science
  • 1993-94  Special Professor, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA
  • 1992  1st annual Jay Doblin award for the best article published in Design Management Journal
  • 1989-98  Member: National Advisory Board, Institute of Communication Research, Urbana/Champaign, IL
  • 1988  Gordon Research Conference on Cybernetics, January 18-22, Oxnard, CA
  • 1986-87  Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 1985  Elected Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA)
  • 1984  Gordon Research Conference on Cybernetics, August 27-31, New Hampton, NH
  • 1982  Elected Fellow of the  American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • 1980-2010  Professor of Communication, The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1979-80  Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar
  • 1973 (Spring)  Guest Professor, Interuniversitair Instituut Bedrijfskunde, Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1971 Award for "On Generating Data in Communication Research" as the most outstanding contribution to The Journal of Communication in 1970
  • 1971  Master of Arts honoris causa from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 1970-80  Associate Professor, The Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1970 (Summer)  Guest Professor, Institut für Publizistik, Free University Berlin, Germany
  • 1967-86  Member of the Graduate Group of Social Systems Science at the University of Pennsylvania
  • 1966-70  Assistant Professor, The Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1965-66  Associate, The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1964-65  Pre-doctoral Research Fellow, The Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1963-64  Research Assistant at the Institute for Communications Research, University of Illinois, Urbana
  • 1961-63  Ford International Fellow
  • 1961  Fulbright travel grant
  • 1961  Design award (for diploma work) by the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie
  • 1960-61  Research Assistant at the Institute for Visual Perception, Ulm School of Design, Germany

Klaus Krippendorff is the Gregory Bateson Emeritus Professor of Communication. He researches the role of language and dialogue in the social construction of reality.

Krippendorff's Alpha Reliability

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Krippendorff's Network

  • Culture and Communication
  • Center for Media at Risk