The Viability of Organizations Vol. 2

Diagnosing and Governing Organizations

  • Wolfgang Lassl

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Diagnosing the Systemic Architecture of Organizations

  3. Diagnosing the Systemic Governance of Organizations

  4. “Purpose and Power”

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 251-258

About this book


Organizations are complex social systems, and dysfunctionalities can settle in very quickly and almost unnoticed, costing valuable time and resources. In a highly volatile and complex world where mistakes are virtually unforgivable, the ability to rapidly and accurately diagnose dysfunctionalities, and familiarity with the right governance and leadership principles, have thus become vital for organizations’ success.

This volume, the second in a set of three, introduces readers to the Viable System Model (VSM)-based diagnosis and governance of organizations. Readers will be familiarized with a broad range of dysfunctional patterns that can impede an organization’s viability, while also deepening their understanding of organizational viability gained in Volume 1. This volume examines in detail the highly dynamic nature of organizations, the multiple equilibrium systems that need to be kept in mind, and the intricate nature of leadership in organizations. It addresses fundamental organizational and managerial issues/topics such as the functioning of hierarchies, the “right” degree of centralization, the various challenges throughout an organization’s lifecycle, and the vital role of conflicts for organizational health.

The insights derived from the VSM in this volume will provide readers with a comprehensive, nuanced, and sound conceptual foundation for questions concerning the diagnosis and governance of organizations, the tasks, challenges and principles of leadership, and the implementation of strategies in organizations.


Designing organizations Modelling organizations Organizational effectiveness Diagnosing organizations Organizational structures Viable System Model Managerial effectiveness Stafford Beer System theory Cybernetics Complexity management VSM organizations

Authors and affiliations

  • Wolfgang Lassl
    • 1
  1. 1.Pure Management GroupViennaAustria

Bibliographic information