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The following pdfs are available for download without charge:



1. Viable System Model by Raúl Espejo and Antonia Gill


This paper introduces the Viable System Model (VSM) created by Stafford Beer. The VSM provides an alternative approach to organization structure and relationships that explains how the organization works rather than who reports to who in the typical command and control hierarchical structure.

Key Words

cybernetics, Stafford Beer, effective organization, recursion, organization structure, managing complexity, balancing variety, five systems for viability, implemention, co-ordination, monitoring-control or cohesion, intelligence, policy, flexible, business units, autonomous systems, primary activities, management cybernetics.

Key Texts

S. Beer, Diagnosing the System for Organizations, Wiley, Chichester (1985)

R. Espejo and R. Harnden, The Viable Systems Model - Interpretations and Applications of Stafford Beer’s VSM, Wiley, Chichester (1989)

2. Management Cybernetics by Tony Gill


This paper introduces the reader to the notion of management cybernetics which was first introduced by Stafford Beer. The black box is offered as a way to understand process and its management. The idea of variety is explored together with the need to balance variety in order to achieve an effective organization.

To follow this paper, do look at the Viable System Model (VSM).

Key Words

cybernetics, Stafford Beer, effective organization, black box, Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety, BPR, Business Process Management, performance targets, corrective action, managing complexity, balancing variety, supply chain management.

Key Texts

Designing Freedom by Stafford Beer (a good introduction)

The Heart of Enterprise by Stafford Beer

both published by John Wiley and Sons.


The download paper about requisite variety click here
The download paper about information management click here