The purpose of this is to explore the potential of the combined use of the viable system model (VSM) and social network analysis (SNA) to identify organizational pathologies.
Using a well-documented case study based on an academic consultancy intervention and Action Research Project, participative methods for the diagnostic of the VSM and questionnaires for the collection of connectivity data for the SNA were used to develop a heuristic to integrate these two tools and identify organizational pathologies.
This study provides empirical evidence of the benefits of the combined use of SNA to enhance the identification of organizational pathologies in VSM interventions, by providing an additional qualitative and quantitative framework for the interpretation of findings coming from VSM organizational diagnostics.
This work explores some analytic routines of SNA frequently used in management. The validation is constrained to the nature of the data set from a case study. The document invites to a discussion of further and more advanced applications on the integration of the VSM and SNA.
The enhanced identification of organizational pathologies can contribute to the emerging new interest in applications of the VSM in management, providing robustness to the structural analysis of organizations.
This paper proposes a guideline to exploit the potential of the combined use of SNA and VSM. It opens new avenues for the study of organizational pathologies.
The authors acknowledge the members of the EEC who kindly participated in surveys and interviews in 2009-2010, as it allowed us to complete this research. The authors acknowledge also to Kim Christensen from the Imperial College and Elsa Arcaute from UCL for their early contribution to this work.
Cardoso Castro, P.P. and Espinosa, A. (2019), "Identification of organisational pathologies: Exploration of social network analysis to support the viable system model diagnostic", Kybernetes, Vol. 49 No. 2, pp. 285-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-10-2018-0557Download as .RIS
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