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The viable decision maker for CAS survival: how to change and adapt through fitting process

Luca Carrubbo (Department of Business Science, Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Francesca Iandolo (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Valentina Pitardi (Libera Universita Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli, Rome, Italy)
Mario Calabrese (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 11 September 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the decision-making process in the management of the complex adaptive systems (CAS), particularly focusing on the dimensions that affect the individual decision maker (DM) when passing from decision to behavior in fitting processes. Although the importance of the general process of fitting in terms of organizational design has been highlighted in earlier studies, a closer focus on the DM perspective is required.


Starting from the theoretical frameworks of viable systems approach (vSa) and addressing the evolving concepts of change and adaptation in CAS, the work takes the DM perspective and investigates the dimensions involved in the paths that lead complex decisions into behaviors, when referring to fitting processes. The paper reviews the vSa and the concept of CAS, deepening the decision making in fitting processes. Then, the paper proceeds to discuss the schemes and the categories that affect, at different levels, the decision and behavioral choices by proposing an interpretative framework.


The paper proposes a general framework useful to recognize/identify which are the elements/dimensions that have to be considered when organizations change in pursuing survival. The findings of the paper also show how adopting a vSa as a meta-model can be insightful to the understanding of service systems and useful in fully comprehending decision-making processes and behavior in complex adaptive system.


The originality of this paper lies in exploring the decision making process in CAS, adopting a closer perspective on the single DM through the lens of the vSa.



Carrubbo, L., Iandolo, F., Pitardi, V. and Calabrese, M. (2017), "The viable decision maker for CAS survival: how to change and adapt through fitting process", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 1006-1023.



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