The current dynamics of business systems require new ways of conceiving the role of single entities. On this basis, a complex of interactions between the company and the reference context must be activated to guarantee survival dynamics. From these considerations re-emerge the ideas of Peccei (2013) and King (2013) that recognise in the systemic thought the foundations for a sustainable society. The present study derives from these considerations, and aims at contributing to the advancement of the knowledge necessary to overcome the challenges in the sustainability field. The methodological approach, albeit heuristic, can be traced back to the positive scientific and constructivist method. The results of the study showed the prevalence of qualitative and subjective techniques, accompanied by the so-called inductive method, testifying to the intense interaction between the scholar and the object investigated. With regard to future research, it would be interesting to construct a flexible, scalable and extensible model to recover both a database and an ontology for the theoretical framework.
Keywords: systemic thought; viability; sustainability; viable systems approach