Panel on Management Cybernetics

Management Cybernetics

The field of cybernetics originated in a series of ten conferences on “circular causal and feedback mechanisms in biological and social systems” in the late 1940s and early 1950s.  The conferences were chaired by Warren McCulloch and sponsored by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation.  After Norbert Wiener, who was a participant in the conferences, published his book, Cybernetics, in 1948, the participants adopted the name “cybernetics” for the new field.  An important area of application for cybernetics has been the field of management.  A leading theorist and consultant in management cybernetics was Stafford Beer, who developed the Viable System Model to describe the structure and functioning of a business or government agency.  The Viable System Model is based on Ross Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety and Ashby’s theory of adaptive behavior.  Beer also developed Syntegration, a method for facilitating a strategic planning exercise.  A cybernetic view of businesses and their management is taken in some industries so that information systems are matched with the needs of businesses for facilitating their management. This panel will describe some of the key ideas in management cybernetics and explain how they are different from other approaches to management.  Descriptions of how these ideas have been used in the past and are being used now will be provided.”

Participants on the panel are:

MGPL Narayana

Stuart A. Umpleby

Laurence D. Richards

Allenna Leonard

Manmohan  Chaturvedi 



MGPLN-photo red


M.G.P.L.Narayana is with Tata Consultancy Services Limited, the largest software services company of Asia for the last 32 years. He led business development for TCS in Silicon Valley, California, during 1997-2000. He initiated and managed the TCS’s research collaborations with leading universities in US, working from California until 2002. His research interests include   business systems and modeling, innovation management and contextual search engines. Mr. Narayana holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He holds memberships with international professional organizations such as ACM, GloGift, INCOSE, American Society of Cybernetics (ASC) and he is a Senior Member of IEEE. He is a fellow of IETE. He holds patents for his work in the Business Systems & Cybernetics Centre (BSCC). He is a Vice President & Chief Scientist at TCS, Hyderabad, heading BSCC at TCS, Hyderabad. He is a past chair of the IEEE Hyderabad Section during 2010-2011 and IEEE’s Computer Society chair for Hyderabad for 2008-2009. He was the General Chair of IEEE India’s flagship conference Indicon2011 and on several conference program committees. He won the “2012 IEEE Outstanding Volunteer Award” for Region 10 (Asia Pacific, Sub Continent, and Australia). Further refer at:  Read about A JOURNEY WITH CYBERNETICS IN A CONSULTING COMPANY



Stuart Umpleby is a professor in the Department of Management and Director of the Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning ( in the School of Business at The George Washington University. He has taught courses in operations research, organizational behavior, process improvement, systems thinking, and the philosophy of science. He has published many papers in the fields of cybernetics and systems science. He is a past president of the American Society for Cybernetics whose Norbert Wiener he was awarded in 2007, and Associate Editor of the journal Cybernetics and Systems. The address of his website is


Larry Richards 2011

Larry Richards serves as the Chief Academic and Enrollment Officer for Indiana University East, one of the eight campuses of Indiana University. In 2012-13, he served a one-year term as Interim Chancellor. Previously, he was the Founding Chair of the Department of Engineering Management at Old Dominion University and the Founding Dean of the School of Management and Aviation Science at Bridgewater State University. His degrees are in Electrical Engineering (B.S.), Aeronautical Systems (M.S.), Management (M.B.A.) and Operations Research (Ph.D.). He served as President of both the American Society for Engineering Management, where he was elected a Fellow in 2002, and the American Society for Cybernetics, which awarded him the Norbert Wiener Medal in 2007. His areas of interest include policy-level decision-making; technology, the arts and society; and, social transformation and design. Read about  CYBERNETICS AS A FOUNDATION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO HIERARCHICAL THINKING


Allena-Photo red

Allenna Leonard is an independent consultant in Toronto who worked with Stafford Beer from the early eighties to his death in 2002.  She works with non-profit and business organizations applying cybernetic approaches and models, primarily although not wholly those of Stafford Beer.  She is affiliated with the Cwarel Isaf Institute of Malik Management Centre in Switzerland that is applying Stafford’s VSM, Team Syntegrity process and Operations Room design as part of its business offerings. She is a past-president of the American Society for Cybernetics and the International Society for Systems Science. Her work can be found at  Read about THE LEGACY OF STAFFORD BEER AND MANAGEMENT CYBERNETICS


Dr Chaturvedi copy

Manmohan  Chaturvedi is a retired Air Commodore from Indian Air Force. He graduated in Electronics stream from Delhi College of Engineering (now DTU) (1972), completed post-graduation (Optical Communication and Opto –Electronics -1985) and PhD (Information Security -2013), both from IIT Delhi.He has about 35 years of experience in managing technology pertaining to military aviation, air defense radar and communication systems and airborne software development for navigation and weapon aiming. He was commended by Chief of Air Staff for his singular contributions towards integration of state-of-art software controlled systems using 1553B bus architecture on a frontline fighter bomber aircraft of Indian Air Force. His PhD thesis defense in June 2013, for design of National Information Security Index in Indian context, was commended by Director General Computer Emergency Response Team- India (CERT-In) as a pragmatic tool for tracking national cyber security initiatives and thus serves as a reliable metric for milestones reached.  He is Fellow of Institute of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers and Chair-Information Security Cell at Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research.                

He has published journal papers and presented many conference papers at prestigious institutions across India. In recent past, he has been invited by European Commission as guest speaker in seminars on Cyber Security at Brussels, Lisbon, Malaga and Vilnius as part of a project funded by European Commission on ‘Building International Cooperation in Trustworthy ICT’ where he presented papers on Information Security. He has also participated as panel member in international seminars deliberating Cyber Security issues. He has worked as consultant on a government of India project at IIT Delhi, to formalize the criteria for government website evaluation and ranking.

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