From ‘EGO’ to ‘ECO’ in B2B relationships

Sergio Barile, Luca Carrubbo, Francesca Iandolo, Francesco Caputo


This paper addresses sustainable development through the lens of the Viable Systems Approach (vSa), a theoretical approach developed by, among others, Golinelli (2000, 2005, 2010) and Barile (2000, 2008, 2009) to extend the relative reflections of the governing processes of a firm by focusing on the research of consonance within the specific context in which the firm operates. In fact, the aim to ensure a sustainable value proposition, and therefore be more competitive, can only be achieved if one understands and anticipates the evolution of the emerging contingencies while still attempting to exploit one’s own distinctive features over time.

These issues have particular relevance in business to business (B2B) socio-economic relationships where all of the elements are homeostatically balanced and must constantly change to adapt to the external contingencies, and the lack of ability to adapt and maintain balance could harm or end the relationship.


Sustainability · Viable Systems Approach · B2B relationships · Change

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Since 2012, vol 5(1), this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.