Book Review: Viable Systems Approach (VSA): Governing Business Dynamics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


This book introduces for the first time in English (and thus for an international readership) the Viable Systems Approach (VSA). The VSA is a novel systemic approach developed in Italy over a period of about thirty years by Italian systemic scholars under the guidance of Gaetano Golinelli.A strictly holistic view of systemic thinking puts the focus on the whole, as opposed to the parts. Accepting this view means directing all research efforts towards the understanding of the whole, without resorting to an analysis of the parts (Barile & Saviano, 2011). This perspective emerges in juxtaposition to the traditional analytical–reductionist approach, aiming to overcome its limits by moving towards an approach that is capable of grasping the entirety of the object (system) to be understood, while also considering its belonging in a greater whole. Among these two extremes of reductionism and holism, we can find action research based systemic theories like the Viable Systems Approach (VSA), the subject of this book
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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