The viable decision maker for CAS survival: how to change and adapt through fitting process

Luca Carrubbo, Francesca Iandolo, Valentina Pitardi, Mario Calabrese

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    Purpose – The purpose of this work is to investigate the decision making process in the management of the complex adaptive systems (CAS), particularly focusing on the dimensions that affect the individual decision maker (DM) when passing from decision to behaviour in fitting processes. Although the importance of the general process of fitting in terms of organizational design has been highlighted in earlier studies, a closer focus on the DM perspective is required.

    Design/Methodology/approach – Starting from the theoretical frameworks of viable systems approach (vSa) and addressing the evolving concepts of change and adaptation in CAS, the work takes the DM perspective and investigates the dimensions involved in the paths that lead complex decisions into behaviors, when referring to fitting processes. The paper reviews the vSa and the concept of CAS, deepening the decision-making in fitting processes. Then, the paper proceeds to discuss the schemes and the categories that affect, at different levels, the decision and behavioural choices by proposing an interpretative framework.

    Findings – The paper proposes a general framework useful to recognize/identify which are the elements/dimensions that have to be considered when organizations change in pursuing survival. The findings of the paper also show how adopting a vSa as a meta-model 3 can be insightful to the understanding of service systems and useful in fully comprehending decision-making processes and behaviour in complex adaptive system.

    Originality/value – The originality of this paper lies in exploring the decision making process in CAS, adopting a closer perspective on the single decision maker through the lens of the vSa.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1006-1023
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Service Theory and Practice
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2017


    • Complex Adaptive Systems
    • Value Co-Creation
    • Decision Making
    • Change
    • Service Research
    • vSa


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