Cybernetically sound organizational structures II

Jan Achterbergh (Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Dirk Vriens (Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 3 May 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how the viable system model (VSM) and de Sitter's design theory can complement each other in the context of the diagnosis and design of viable organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Key concepts from Beer's model and de Sitter's design theory are introduced and analyzed in order to show how they relate.

Findings

The VSM provides insight into the related systems necessary and sufficient for viability. As such, it specifies criteria supporting the diagnosis and design of organizational infrastructures, i.e. of organizational structures, HR systems, and technology. However, it does not explicitly conceptualize and provide a detailed heuristic for the design of organizational structures. De Sitter's theory fills in this gap.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates how, based on a rudimentary model of organizational viability, de Sitter's design theory positively addresses the question of how to diagnose and design organizational structures that add to the viability of organizations.

Keywords

Citation

Achterbergh, J. and Vriens, D. (2011), "Cybernetically sound organizational structures II", Kybernetes, Vol. 40 No. 3/4, pp. 425-438. https://doi.org/10.1108/03684921111133665

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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