Four Proposals for Enterprise Modeling
Doctoral thesis, 2004
Any enterprise whether a major corporation, a small family-owned business, a public school, a hospital, or a military unit needs to develop itself continuously in order to adapt to the challenges originating within itself and from its environment, in relation to its overall purpose or mission. Deliberate development and management of an enterprise manifest complexity that gives rise to a central challenge: how can we obtain a comprehensive intelligibility of an enterprise? One conceptual tool to overcome this challenge is enterprise modeling; it supports articulation of an enterprise and consequently intelligibility of its complexity. In this sense, this dissertation presents four novel contributions to enterprise modeling. The first is a proposal for a notion of the model as such. This distinguishes itself from conventional notions as it incorporates the modeling-subject and its relation to the modeled-object, rather than only accounting for the latter. The second contribution is a proposal for a notion of the modeling process by articulation of its general purpose, outcome, process, and structure. This provides guidelines for deliberate design of modeling process in order to obtain desired quality of the result: the models themselves this is an aspect that is typically forgotten. The third contribution is a proposal for an enterprise modeling language including a set of enterprise modeling constructs (constituted by semantics and syntaxes) for representing an enterprise; examples are an enterprises Consumer, Output, Process, Organizational Culture, Rules, and Goals. Compared to other current enterprise modeling languages, this language provides a richer set of enterprise constructs supporting generation of higher comprehensiveness of an enterprise. Finally, the fourth contribution is a proposal for a multi-modal enterprise modeling approach; this provides guidelines for construction of enterprise models incorporating enterprise attributes from fifteen distinct areas of human knowing and experience, including numeric, physical, biotic, psychic, economic, aesthetic, and ethical knowing. This proposal supports modeling and consequently also comprehension of enterprises in a multi-disciplinary mode, thus challenging the conventional reductionist, single modal, modeling approaches. The four proposals for enterprise modeling are derived from propositions within Projective Constructivist Epistemology and Multi-Modal Theory and are supported by empirical experience from a set of case studies. Finally, the dissertation presents several questions for further research. One of these proposes the development of a model-driven enterprise. This would be based on conceptual models of itself, where active models operate computer-based enterprise systems. Hypothetically speaking, such a model-driven and technology-based enterprise would be endowed with a cognitive capacity, giving emergence to the potential of manifesting behavior and performance transcending those of conventional enterprises.
enterprise modeling language