The purpose of this article is to provide the reader with an introduction into the FQS special issue “Methods for qualitative management research in the context of social systems thinking”. While reviewing papers of this special issue, the editors recognized three thematic threads that seem to be of particular importance to qualitative management research from the stance of systems theory. The first of these themes relates to observation, i.e. the observable, in management research, the second to methods and the design of studies for application in empirical research using systems theory, and the third to the implications of those studies on what was studied, i.e. management in organizations. The positions of the authors of this Special Issue regarding these three themes are reflected and discussed in this article.