Patrick Hoverstadt
Patrick Hoverstadt

Beer's Viable System Model -
Understanding Organisations

This session gives an introduction to Stafford Beer's Viable Systems Model. This is a powerful approach to understanding and modelling organisations using systems and cybernetics. In developing the VSM, Stafford was seeking to develop a "science of organisation" a way of understanding how an organisation - any sort of organisation functions. Key concepts are understanding organisations as whole entities, understanding how they manage complexity and understanding what it needs for organisations to be "viable" - to be capable of transforming themselves to fit their changing environment. As well as introducing the VSM, we will also look at the relationship between systems and process and its relevance to Deming's SOPK.