PurposeThis paper aims to revisit the viable system model (VSM) discussing it from both the theoretical and the empirical standpoints, and ascertaining its relevance for organizational governance.Design/methodology/approachA combination of theoretical and empirical components is used: introduction to theory and critique on the one hand; case studies and a large sample empirical study on the other.FindingsThe VSM has proved to be a powerful means of governance for organizations in turbulent times. It conveys a durable, reliable knowledge. This has been corroborated in both case studies and a large-scale empirical study.Practical implicationsApplication of the model under study can activate a huge potential for the improvement of organizations.Originality/valueThis contribution tests the VSM in an unseen fashion – qualitatively and quantitatively. The results suggest that a high confidence in the model is justified. It conveys to managers and leaders an unconventional, superior approach to both diagnosis and design of their organizations.
Kybernetes – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 14, 2019
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