Governance pp 127-191 | Cite as


Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)

Actors wish that their common endeavours and ventures will succeed in the long run.340 Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM)341 is a formal model identifying the necessary and sufficient structural conditions required for actors to evolve and maintain a social °system° notion.342 These structures explicate the dynamic, adaptive and self-referential connectivity, i.e. the specific interactional features required for anchoring change and adaptability within °system° notions, thus creating the preconditions for lasting persistence.

Actors implement a °system° notion by referring to their shared backgrounds, which are non-tangible.344 To create shared actor backgrounds, interactions are required, as has been described above. The way interactional structures are manifested in channels, methods, and transducers is crucial for evolving viability. The notion of a social °system° can only be viable if the interactions taking place for its implementation equip actors to jointly provide requisite variety to attend to and resolve °system° issues.345 As captured in the principle of sustainability of control, that requires the three aspects of structure to permanently supply sufficient capacities for maintaining a °system° notion. Structures – and that includes the cultures established – have to enable actors to jointly create requisite variety. The interactions performed, which predefine the distinctions actors make and thus the °system° states that they jointly generate, have to match those states arising from the environment.


Characteristic Interaction Integrate Framework Corporate Strategy Topic Domain Variety Block 
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© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2008

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