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Stafford Beer

  • Magnus Ramage
  • Karen Shipp

Stafford Beer was a consultant, manager and cybernetician. He was the first person to apply cybernetics to management problems. He combined theory and practice in a highly integrated way, always working as a practitioner but making a number of important contributions in both methodology and theory. His writing was highly inspirational as well as academically rigorous, and he had a profound impact upon those with whom he worked as a consultant and colleague. As Rosenhead (2006, p. 581) has written, “he explored in his work the implications of a holistic approach to organizational and social problems, and exemplified this approach in his own life”.

Keywords

Crest Grease Vanilla Cybersyn 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Beer, S. (1974/1995). Designing freedom. Chichester: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Beer, S. (1981). Brain of the firm. Chichester: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Beer, S. (1984). The viable system model: Its provenance, development, methodology and pathology. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 35(1), 7–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beer, S. (1987). Holism and the Frou-Frou Slander. Kybernetes, 17(1), 23–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Espejo, R. (1989). The VSM revisited. In R. Espejo, & R. Harnden (Eds.), The viable system model revisited: Interpretations and applications of Stafford Beer's VSM (pp. 77–100). Chichester: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Jackson, M. C. (1989). Evaluating the managerial significance of the VSM. In R. Espejo, & R. Harnden (Eds.), The viable system model revisited: Interpretations and applications of Stafford Beer's VSM (pp. 407–439). Chichester: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Leonard, A. (2002). Stafford Beer: September 25 1926 – August 23 2002. http://www.vanillabeer.org/staffordbeer.htm. Accessed 13 Jan 2009.
  8. Maturana, H. R., & Varela, F. J. (1980). Autopoiesis and cognition: The realization of the living. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pickering, A. (2004). The science of the unknowable: Stafford Beer's cybernetic informatics. Kybernetes, 33(3/4), 499–521.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rosenhead, J. (2006). IFORS operational research hall of fame: Stafford Beer. International Transactions in Operational Research, 13(6), 577–581.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Open University 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magnus Ramage
    • 1
  • Karen Shipp
    • 1
  1. 1.The Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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