To:  Greenwood and Miller
Thank you for your article, "Tackling Design Anew:  Getting Back to the
Heart of Organizational Theory," in AOM Perspectives, Nov. 2010.
I think you might be interested in the Viable System Model (VSM) created by
Stafford Beer and the literature that has been influenced by his work.
Above is the address of an on-line forum for people who are using Beer's
Beer's model describes an adaptive system, which must both deliver current
value and periodically restructure itself.  His conception of structure
involves 5 subsystems, which are recursive.  That is, the 5 subsystems recur
at each level of organization.  I have found Beer's model to be a useful
diagnostic tool independent of the nominal structure of an organization --
hierarchical, flat, matrix, etc.

Stuart Umpleby, Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning
2033 K Street NW, Suite 230, The George Washington University, Washington,
DC 20052 <>, tel. 202-994-1642, fax

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