The viable business structure for managing agility

Trevor Turner, Umit Bititci, Peter Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper shares the conclusions of the authors with respect to a comparison of Beer’s viable systems model (VSM) and modern business process thinking. These conclusions have been arrived at as a result of extensive empirical research over the past five years. Modern business process thinking and the VSM provides the foundations for a viable business structure which maximises opportunities for managing agility. The paper provides a brief background to the research and explains VSM and modern business process thinking. It then goes on to demonstrate how VSM and modern business process thinking combine to provide a powerful structure for planning and managing today’s modern organisation in an uncertain and dynamic environment. In developing the theorythe paper also provides empirical evidence to support and demonstrate the application of the theory. The paper concludes with a summary of key messages and lessons learned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Agile Management Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • agile production
  • organizational structure
  • performance management
  • process management


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