Journal article

A Modeling Framework for Analyzing the Viability of Service Systems

Recent research has explored the principles of service system viability based on systems inquiry invoking perspectives from Systems Theory and Cybernetics in particular Stafford Beer’s viable systems model (VSM). However based on Banathy & Jenlink (2004), Systems inquiry encompasses more than just Systems Theory and includes domains such as Systems Methodology and Systems Philosophy. Building on the extant literature, our work has the following particularities: 1) it is based on an explicit systems philosophy in which we explicitly define what we view as viability and, 2) it involves a systems methodological approach to either analyze the viability of a service system or to design a viable service system. This is achieved by means of applying a systems modeling technique called SEAM (Systemic Enterprise Architecture Method). SEAM rests upon systemic principles and embodies conceptualizations from VSM. We apply SEAM to concretely model a utility company in Geneva, Switzerland in order to gain an understanding of how a service system maintains its identity and remains viable in its environment.


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