A Viable System Model Perspective on Variant Management based on a Structural Complexity Management Approach

DSM 14 Proceedings of the 16th International DSM conference: Risk and Change management in complex systems

Year: 2014
Editor: Marle, F.; Jankovic, M.; Maurer, M.; Schmidt, D. M.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Elezi, F.; Resch, D.; Tommelein, I. D.; Bauer W.; Maurer, M.; Lindemann, U.
Series: DSM
Section: Methods and Complexity Management
Page(s): 13-22


This paper explores the applicability of Structural Complexity Management (StCM) on organizational design and diagnosis. As basic structural model for efficient management of organizations the Viable System Model (VSM) is used. The VSM represents an alternative organization model based on Management Cybernetics (MC) theory that describes the structure of all viable systems. Companies operating in dynamic environments strive for viability, therefore incorporation of VSM into their structure is essential. However, VSM requires complex communication and control structures that are not so intuitive at first sight. A methodology that supports the identification and analysis of these structures is still missing, which is why the VSM has not gained wider popularity. This paper addresses a methodology based on StCM that can prove to be beneficial for this purpose. The methodology is applied to an industry case study, where first improvement suggestions based on the newly derived insights are shown.

Keywords: management cybernetics, viable system model, structural complexity management, Multiple-Domain Matrix, variant management

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