The Viable System Model (VSM) offers a holistic form
of observing collective behaviours in today’s societies. Its history
goes back into the late 1950s. Stafford Beer created it in the context
of the earlier work in cybernetics by Norbert Wiener, Warren McCulloch
and Ross Ashby.

Over the past twenty years its methods have evolved in the context of the work of Syncho Ltd.,
a small research and consultancy company associated to the Aston
Science Park, Birmingham, UK. The work has been driven by their desire
“to understand why institutions, whether large or small, public or
private, are as they are and how we can intervene to make them work
better for their stakeholders.”

In this paper Raul Espejo declares that  “Organisational
design has to go beyond tinkering with local improvements in the
direction of producing enterprises capable of creating, regulating and
producing espoused purposes and values” and that VSM provides a
foundation for this effort.

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Tags: cybernetics, design, model, models, science, Stafford Beer, Systems, VSM

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