Many theories, developed to explain the behaviour of organizations, think in one way or another in a linear cause-and-effect way: A causes B, and B leads to C.
However, the real-life might be much more complex than that. The A’s, B’s, and C’s of these models are inseparably interconnected to multitude variables; therefore, for these models to have any meaningful outcome, they have to capture all the intricate, and many times obscure relations. Any kind of simplification will cause the model not able to describe the real system.
The Viable System Model, in contrast, embraces a holistic approach to organizations (and systems), providing a theory to identify and explain what a Viable System should look like.
In this endeavour, the Viable System Model utilizes different western organizational theories as well as eastern philosophies, and provides a new approach in complete contrast with our traditionally deep-engraved hierarchical way of thinking.