Evolution of the Enterprise Architecture Discipline: Towards a Unified Developing Theory of Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge as an Evolving Discipline
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When studying enterprises as complex systems through the Enterprise Architecture (EA) discipline, researchers not only apply models, methods and theories of management and control - they 'should' also use the same from engineering, linguistics, cognitive science, environmental science, biology, social science, artificial intelligence, systems thinking and cybernetics. This diversity of related disciplines derives from the nature of enterprises as multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary entities with interacting dimensions and different design- and evolution concerns. We believe that for the EA discipline (EAd), like any other developing and evolving discipline, there should exist a unified terminology, models and methodology. There already exists a fundamental and generalised theory of EAd, GERAM, however, it is a minimalist theory, not prescribing any particular reference models or any concrete methodology. Therefore, practitioners developed particular frameworks, adding concrete methodologies / reference models specific to the domain / type of change to tackle. The question is: is possible to extend the EA Body of Knowledge (EABOK) with common elements - independent from the domain / type of change? In other words, what is a unified evolving theory of EAd? To model the discipline-as-a-system, we use Beer's Viable System Model (VSM) and introduce three basic components of EAd as a viable system. A 'co-evolution mechanisms' for EAd is proposed, and a cybernetic model of co-evolution applied to EAd. We also discuss a cybernetic model of EAd using Checkland's model for discipline development.
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
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Information Systems Theory