Ashby (1958; 1956) formerly introduced the law of requisite variety in the field of cybernetics, supporting that “variety can destroy variety” (Ashby, 1956, p. 207). More into details, the law of requisite variety maintains that, to achieve stability, a system should be endowed with a control mechanism which paves the way to a number of state that is greater or – at least – is equal to the number of possible states in the system being controlled. Working on this definition, Beer (1979, p. 286) argued that “variety absorbs variety”. In fact, assuming variety as the total number of possible states of a system, he supported that to be viable a system should be able to achieve the minimum number of states required to deal with uncertainty (Beer, 1981). The attention paid by the managerial literature to this issue is increasingly growing. Requisite variety has been generally identified as a predictor of firm performance (Vogus & Sutcliffe, 2001), as a tool to manage demand variability (Ojha, White, & Rogers, 2013), and as a critical factor affecting the development of new products (Wiredu, 2007) and manufacturing inter-organizational processing management (Gang & Xiaona, 2008). This paper describes the “Giffoni Experience” case study, with the purpose of discussing requisite variety in action. It will be argued that, at the beginning, requisite variety is usually enacted as an effort to face the growing complexity and uncertainty of the external environment. At a later stage, requisite variety is exploited to anticipate unexpected changes in the external environment.

Requisite variety in action: The “Giffoni Experience” case study

PALUMBO, ROCCO
2015

Abstract

Ashby (1958; 1956) formerly introduced the law of requisite variety in the field of cybernetics, supporting that “variety can destroy variety” (Ashby, 1956, p. 207). More into details, the law of requisite variety maintains that, to achieve stability, a system should be endowed with a control mechanism which paves the way to a number of state that is greater or – at least – is equal to the number of possible states in the system being controlled. Working on this definition, Beer (1979, p. 286) argued that “variety absorbs variety”. In fact, assuming variety as the total number of possible states of a system, he supported that to be viable a system should be able to achieve the minimum number of states required to deal with uncertainty (Beer, 1981). The attention paid by the managerial literature to this issue is increasingly growing. Requisite variety has been generally identified as a predictor of firm performance (Vogus & Sutcliffe, 2001), as a tool to manage demand variability (Ojha, White, & Rogers, 2013), and as a critical factor affecting the development of new products (Wiredu, 2007) and manufacturing inter-organizational processing management (Gang & Xiaona, 2008). This paper describes the “Giffoni Experience” case study, with the purpose of discussing requisite variety in action. It will be argued that, at the beginning, requisite variety is usually enacted as an effort to face the growing complexity and uncertainty of the external environment. At a later stage, requisite variety is exploited to anticipate unexpected changes in the external environment.
978-8386437-60-0
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4643891
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