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Title: The viable system model’s support to social responsibility
Authors: Strukelj T.
Zlatanović, Dejana
Nikolić, Jelena
Sternad Zabukovšek S.
Journal: Kybernetes
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2021
Abstract: © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The consequences of human social irresponsibility urge socially responsible reactions. The authors expose the consequences of socially irresponsible behaviour and state possible requisitely holistic tools to eliminate organisations’ dangerous and socially irresponsible behaviour. This paper aims to examine how the viable system model (the VSM) used as a diagnostic tool can help organisations support socially responsible behaviour. Design/methodology/approach: Given the variety of systems methodologies, the authors selected the VSM as a key methodological tool of Organizational Cybernetics. A case-study approach is used to demonstrate the power of the VSM as a diagnostic tool. Findings: Humans need to replace recklessness and selfishness by faster re-orientation towards a socially responsible society. By following the cybernetic circle of the preparation and implementation of the management process and practising social responsibility via the VSM, organisations can conduct socially responsible business operations for a socially responsible society. Respecting the pluralist nature of social responsibility and a limited framework of the VSM, the VSM analysis needs to be supported by interpretive systems approaches, such as Strategic Assumptions Surfacing and Testing (SAST). Research limitations/implications: The presented study’s limitation is the case study of a selected organisation from Europe. The discussion could be relevant to each organisation, which is observed as a viable system. The insights gained with this case study can be broadened by empirical research involving diverse organisations from various countries. Practical implications: Research results indicate socially irresponsible behaviours of the researched organisation and possible ways of overcoming them. The cybernetic circle of the preparation and implementation of socially responsible management processes through the VSM offers a possible path towards more social responsibility in organisations. Moreover, the VSM should be used in combination with interpretive systems approaches, such as SAST. Social implications: The generality of the VSM indicates that decision-makers could use the VSM for diagnosing socially irresponsible behaviour in organisations and for redesigning organisations to help develop a more socially responsible society. Originality/value: The paper contributes to a cybernetic framework and methodological support to social responsibility. This study could serve as an essential starting point for organisations wishing to take further steps towards social responsibility.
Type: Article
DOI: 10.1108/K-12-2019-0860
ISSN: 0368492X
SCOPUS: 85100041193
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Economics, Kragujevac
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