If a system can continue to reproduce itself (i.e. exist) over time, it is referred to as a viable system.
Every viable system is contained in other viable systems (see holon).
The cybernetician Stafford Beer developed a rigorous appreciation for viability through his development of the Viable Systems Model.
- Espejo, R. (2003). The Viable System Model: A Briefing About Organisational Structure. Systems Practice 221.
- Peppard, J. (2005). The application of the viable systems model to information technology governance. ICIS 2005 Proceedings, 5.