The Viability of Organizations Vol. 1: Decoding the "DNA" of Organizations

Wolfgang Lassl
03 June 2019

RRP: £36.83    Hardcover: 258 pages   Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2019 edition (3 Jun. 2019)   ISBN: 3030120139

Today’s complexity, speed, and need for adaptation are putting organizations under stress. Understanding how organizations function and truly come alive has become a critical competency. And yet, organizations still seem to lack a solid understanding of what constitutes meaningful, viable, and effective organizational structures.

Using the Viable System Model (VSM) as a framework, this three-volume compendium volume offers readers a new and comprehensive perspective on organizations and how they function beyond the organizational chart. Moreover, it equips readers with a rigorous methodology for analyzing organizations and addressing deep-seated organizational dysfunctions, while also showing them how to redesign their structures and develop better and more tailor-made solutions.

This first volume introduces readers to the VSM and its main components. Readers are taken on a journey, allowing them to rediscover all-too-familiar aspects in the life of their organization and to become aware of the critical success factors for its smooth functioning and long-term viability. In turn, volumes 2 and 3 provide an in-depth introduction to diagnosing and designing organizations with the help of the VSM. For academics, this compendium rediscovers a theoretical perspective that can help them understand macro-structural issues; at the same time, for VSM experts and researchers alike, it resolves many open aspects in the VSM framework.

"This compendium is a most welcome contribution to Organizational Cybernetics. Lassl provides a detailed analytical and insightful perspective on the currently most powerful organization theory, which is a key to mastering complexity: the Viable System Model. The author also finds new, creative ways of showing the practitioner how to make the model work. If you apply it properly, you can reap huge benefits: the viability of your organization and a prosperous future."

Prof. em. Dr. Markus Schwaninger, University of St. Gallen