Viable organization: an application of viable systems model(VSM) in organizational structure design



2 Moghbel Baerz, Abbas

3 faculty Member of Tarbiat Modarres


Nowadays, organizations have met with increasing complexity and uncertainty in their internal and external environment. A well-designed organizational structure is a cornerstone of achieving an organization’s goals while suiting the environmental challenges. Structural design models must be in a way to understand the inherent complexity of the environment as well as the complexity of stakeholders’ relationships. Viable System Model (VSM) which is rooted in Organizational Cybernetics, is capable of understanding the external and internal complexities of organizations. This approach is an outline for diagnosing and designing organizational structure. The fundamental idea of VSM is the existence of specific systems, and their relations in an organization can lead the organization toward viability and survivability. This study employed VSM for diagnosing the organizational structure of Iranian Construction Engineering Organization based on 5-step method. Applying proposed method shows that, a set of systems, information flows and communication channels have deficiencies in the organization, which needs to be amended in order to achieve viability and the ability to cope with the challenges.


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