Stafford Beer was interested in finding ways of using cybernetics to help systems function more effectively. Over time he developed a “Viable Systems Model” which describes a model that can exhibit the “requisite variety” necessary to maintain an independent, sustained existence in some environment. By clarifying the kinds of signals that needed to be transmitted for a system to function smoothly, it could help clarify the degree to which a given system could manifest this sort of functioning.

 

Bibliography

By Stafford Beer

Designing Freedom. CBC Publications, 1974; House of Ananasi Press Limited, 1993. ISBN: 0-88784-547-9

Platform for Change. John Wiley & Sons, 1975. ISBN: 0-471-06189-1

Brain of the Firm, Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, 1981. ISBN: 0-471-27687-1

The Heart of Enterprise. John Wiley & Sons, 1979. ISBN: 0-471-27599-9

Diagnosing the System for Organizations. John Wiley & Sons, 1985. ISBN: 0-471-90675-1

Beyond Dispute: The Invention of Team Syntegrity. John Wiley & Sons, 1994. ISBN: 0-471-94451-3

Think before you Think: Social Complexity and Knowledge of Knowing. Edited by David Whittaker, Foreword by Brian Eno. Wavestone Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780954519469

About Stafford Beer & his ideas

The Viable System Model: Interpretations and Applications of Stafford Beer’s VSM, Edited by Raúl Espejo and Roger Harnden. John Wiley & Sons, 1989. ISBN: 0-471-92288-9

Stafford Beer: A Personal Memoir, by David Whittaker. Wavestone Press, 2003. ISBN: 0954519418

 

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