Governance for intelligent organizations: a cybernetic contribution

Markus Schwaninger (Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen, IfB, Dufourstr, Switzerland)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 14 January 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This 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/approach

A 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.

Findings

The 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 implications

Application of the model under study can activate a huge potential for the improvement of organizations.

Originality/value

This 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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to thank Profs Federico Barnabè and Ilaria Perissi for their valuable editorial support and three anonymous referees for their helpful and encouraging comments.

Citation

Schwaninger, M. (2019), "Governance for intelligent organizations: a cybernetic contribution", Kybernetes, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 35-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-01-2018-0019

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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