System dynamics and cybernetics: a synergetic pair



The authors advocate building a bridge between two systems approaches, namely system dynamics (SD) and the viable system model (VSM), which is the main exponent of organizational cybernetics (OC). Such a synthesis is aimed at opening a path towards a better capability of actors to deal with complex issues in both organizations and society. Given their respective strengths—modeling and simulation of content issues in the case of SD, and providing a viable organizational context in the case of OC—a combination of the two approaches is claimed to be potentially fertile. That argument gets twofold support. Firstly, the complementarity of SD and the VSM is cogently shown. Secondly, the authors refer to examples of synergy development through a combination of the two approaches. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.