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Über dieses Buch

If one thing catches the eye in almost all literature about (re)designing or (re)engineering of enterprises, it is the lack of a well-founded theory about their construction and operation. Often even the most basic notions like "action" or "process" are not precisely defined. Next, in order to master the diversity and the complexity of contemporary enterprises, theories are needed that separate the stable essence of an enterprise from the variable way in which it is realized and implemented.

Such a theory and a matching methodology, which has passed the test of practical experience, constitute the contents of this book. The enterprise ontology, as developed by Dietz, is the starting point for profoundly understanding the organization of an enterprise and subsequently for analyzing, (re)designing, and (re)engineering it. The approach covers numerous issues in an integrated way: business processes, in- and outsourcing, information systems, management control, staffing etc.

Researchers and students in enterprise engineering or related fields will discover in this book a revolutionary new way of thinking about business and organization. In addition, it provides managers, business analysts, and enterprise information system designers for the first time with a solid and integrated insight into their daily work.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Frontmatter

1. Outline of the Book

Abstract
Part A contains introductory material for the core of the book. After the outline, in Chap. 1, the notion of enterprise ontology, in the context of ontology in general and of the observed societal needs for enterprise ontology, is discussed in Chap. 2. It turns out that the notion of enterprise ontology could be beneficial not only for managers and designers of organizations and information systems, but also for the employees and the clients of an enterprise, be it a commercial company or a government agency. In Chap. 3 this notion is exemplified, taking the operational activities of becoming a member of a tennis club as the leading example. Despite the small size of this enterprise, you will acquire a basic knowledge of enterprise ontology that is appropriate and sufficient to study the remainder of the book.

2. What is Enterprise Ontology?

Abstract
Enterprise ontology is a novel subject, and writing a book on this novel subject puts the author under the obligation to provide at least two kinds of explanation. One explanation regards the justification of presenting yet another point of view on enterprises. Why and how would enterprise ontology assist in coping with the current and future problems related to enterprises? The other explanation concerns the particular approach towards enterprise ontology that the author takes. Why would this approach be more appropriate and more effective than some other one? These are serious questions indeed, and anyone who takes the pain to study this book deserves satisfying answers. You will get the answers; however, not straight away. A first attempt is in this introductory chapter. Definite and fully satisfying answers can only emerge from a dedicated and thorough study of the book. The lasting reward of such a study is a novel and powerful insight into the essence of the operation of enterprises; by this we mean insight that is fully independent of the (current) realization and implementation.

3. An Explanatory Case

Abstract
In the previous chapter, we defined enterprise ontology as the realization and implementation independent essence of an enterprise, in short, as the deep structure behind its observable surface structure. In this chapter, we will demonstrate the notion of enterprise ontology that will be developed meticulously in the remainder of this book. The intention now is to offer a global introduction, from which the core essence of enterprise ontology will become clear. We will explain the relevant notions on the basis of a small example enterprise, namely the activities within a tennis club regarding the registration of new members.

Foundations

Frontmatter

4. Factual Knowledge

Abstract
As will become clear later, we consider an enterprise to be a system, the activities of which have effect in the world that corresponds with it. Other words for this notion of world are “domain” and “Universe of Discourse”. because these other words are mostly not well-defined, we will exclusively use the word “world”, in order to avoid any confusion. The notion of world is a very general one: there is a world of traveling by airplane, there is a world of educating students at a university, there is a world of repairing and maintaining cars, and so on. A state of such a world can simply be conceived as a set of elementary facts, such as the fact that a particular person or car or insurance policy exists, or that a particular person owns a particular car, and that a particular insurance policy is for a particular car. Factual knowledge contrasts with procedural knowledge or know-how. In this chapter, we will elaborate the notion of factual knowledge, by which we mean the knowledge about the states and the state transitions of a world; this will ultimately lead to a precise definition of the ontology of a world.

5. A World Ontology Specification Language

Abstract
In this chapter we present and explain a language for the specification of world ontologies, in conformity with the definition provided in Chap. 4. The scope of this language, which is called WOSL (World Ontology Specification Language), is limited to the theory and methodology presented in this book. So, although, in principle, the language may have a broader scope of application, we will use it only for the specification of the state model (see Chap. 19). Therefore, it contains only those constructs that we need for that purpose. These conditions justify the development of our own language, instead of using an existing one, like DOGMA [45, 58] and GOL [13].

6. The Notion of System

Abstract
The notion of system is an important notion in all sciences, each of them studying its own kind of system. Thus physics studies physical systems, biology biosystems, and sociology studies social systems. Since about 1950, research ([7], [9], [65]) has strived for and contributed to the development of a general systems theory, also called systemics, which focuses on the characteristics of systems across the barriers between scientific disciplines. This systems approach is important for enterprise ontology since we have to deal with at least three distinct kinds of systems: social systems (as will become clear, the essence of enterprises), conceptual systems (information or knowledge systems), and technical systems (ICT systems). Not only is it necessary to profoundly understand these kinds of systems in isolation, but also to understand their interrelationships in a thorough way.

7. The Notion of Model

Abstract
Almost as important as the notion of system is the notion of model of a system. Investigating systems mostly comes down to building models and analyzing the behavior of these models. Mathematics and logic provide the means to build complex but exact conceptual models and to analyze the behavior of these models thoroughly. The only weak point is the validation of the model against the modeled system. Is the model appropriate? Is it sufficiently accurate? What are the ranges of reliability? Can one predict the behavior of the system on the basis of the behavior of its model?

8. Ontology and Enterprise Engineering

Abstract
Now that the distinction between black-box models and white-box models has been made clear, the question about their roles in enterprise engineering can be addressed. By enterprise engineering we mean the whole body of knowledge regarding the development, implementation, and operational use of enterprises, as well as its practical application in engineering projects. The term “engineering” is used here in the broad sense, as in mechanical engineering and civil engineering. It should not be confused with the use of same term in the narrow sense, namely as a phase in the development process of systems (enterprises, information systems, etc.), which we will address shortly. Enterprise engineering is not a discipline yet, comparable to electrical engineering or civil engineering. It is our conviction however that this discipline is badly needed, now, and certainly in the near future. With this book we hope to demonstrate the need for developing the discipline of enterprise engineering and to address a part of its contents.

The theory

Frontmatter

9. The Operation Axiom

Abstract
The first axiom of the Ψ-theory states that the operation of an enterprise is constituted by the activities of actor roles, which are elementary chunks of authority and responsibility, fulfilled by subjects. In doing so, these subjects perform two kinds of acts: production acts and coordination acts. These acts have definite results: production facts and coordination facts, respectively. The axiom is commonly referred to as the operation axiom.

10. The Transaction Axiom

Abstract
In the previous chapter we saw that an enterprise is a system of actors who perform two kinds of acts: production acts and coordination acts. The question that will be addressed in this chapter is how these acts are related to each other. Are there particular structures or patterns in which they occur, or is any pattern possible? At first glance, when reviewing the enormous diversity of coordination-oriented processes in practice, the answer seems to be that there are at least many ‘really’ different processes. Fortunately, it appears that they can be considered as paths through some generic coordination pattern. Therefore, the second axiom of the Ψ-theory states that coordination acts are performed as steps in universal patterns. These patterns, also called transactions, always involve two actor roles and are aimed at achieving a particular result. We will refer to the second axiom as the transaction axiom.

11. The Composition Axiom

Abstract
From the previous chapter we have learned that the result of a successful transaction is the creation of a P-fact. Conversely, every original new fact in the P-world is brought about as the result of a successful transaction. The question that we will address in this chapter is how these facts are interrelated. Let us, as an example, look at the manufacturing of a bicycle. As everyone knows, manufacturing a bicycle is not one (atomic) act, like switching on your desk lamp. Instead, it is an assembly of a number of parts. Next, it is useful to distinguish between atomic parts and subassemblies. An atomic part cannot be disassembled; examples are a bolt and a nut. Most parts of a bicycle, like the lamps and the chains, are subassemblies. So, a bicycle can conveniently be conceived as a tree structure of parts, both atomic parts and subassemblies, as exhibited in Fig. 11.1.

12. The Distinction Axiom

Abstract
The fourth axiom of the Ψ-theory states that there are three distinct human abilities playing a role in the operation of actors, called performa, informa, and forma. These abilities regard communicating, creating things, reasoning, and information processing. Because this axiom serves, in particular, in neatly separating our diverse concerns, it is called the distinction axiom. Figure 12.1 summarizes the distinction axiom.

13. The Organization Theorem

Abstract
In the previous chapters, four axioms have been presented and discussed that serve to achieve the overall goal of the Ψ-theory, which is to extract the essence of an organization from its actual appearance. The operation axiom tells us that the implementation independent essence of an organization is that it consists of actor roles and that the acts performed by (the subjects that fulfill) the actor roles can be divided into two kinds: production acts and coordination acts. As with the actor roles, these acts and the resulting facts are abstracted from their implementation. In addition, the distinction axiom tells us that subjects, in fulfilling actor roles, exert three basic human abilities: performa, informa, and forma. Through the distinction axiom, a substantial reduction of complexity and diversity is achieved, regarding both the coordination and the production in an organization. Moreover, at the ontological level of abstraction, which coincides with the performa ability, the number of actor roles is small, and therefore very well manageable. Lastly, the transaction axiom provides another major reduction in complexity and diversity in that it reveals universal socionomic patterns of coordination that hold for all enterprises. The question addressed in this section is how these benefits can be combined into one concise, comprehensive, coherent, and consistent notion of enterprise, such that the (white-box) model of this notion of enterprise may rightly be called an ontological model of an enterprise. The answer to the question is the organization theorem. We will state it now and discuss it later.

14. The CRISP Model

Abstract
In the previous chapters of Part C, the Ψ-theory has been presented and discussed. In order to utilize the benefits of this theory in practice, a meta model for modeling organizations, called the CRISP model, is presented in this chapter. As we will see, this meta model allows us to construct enterprise ontologies according to the Ψ-theory. We will define the ontology (or the ontological model) of an enterprise as the conceptual model of its Borganization according to the CRISP model. Because we are going to deal with both facta and stata (Chap. 4), we will generally avoid the term “fact” in this chapter.

The Methodology

Frontmatter

15. The Modeling Method

Abstract
The modeling of an enterprise, as a collection of collaborating crispies (see Chap. 14), is generally a tough job because the available descriptions of its operation tend to be voluminous and at the same time incomprehensive and consistent. Therefore, it is imperative to develop enterprise ontologies in a systematic way. In this chapter, two things are presented and discussed. The first is the set of aspect models in which the ontological knowledge of (the organization of) an enterprise is expressed, such that this knowledge is easily accessible and manageable. The second is a method for the development of the ontological aspect models of an enterprise. Both build on the existing DEMO methodology. From now on, we will no longer use the terms C-factum, P-statum and P-factum. Instead, we will speak of C-result, fact, and P-result or just result, respectively. This seems an acceptable balance between striving for theoretical precision and aspiring practical appreciation of the methodology.

16. The Interaction Model

Abstract
The construction model (CM) of an organization specifies its composition, its environment, and its structure, according to the system definition that is provided in Chap. 6. The composition and the environment are both a set of actor roles. By convention, we will always draw environmental actor roles as composite actor roles, even if we happen to know that an actor role is elementary. The reason for doing this is that generally we do not know whether an environmental actor role is elementary or composite. Moreover, we do not care: our interest is in the kernel of the organization. We start with modeling this kernel as one composite actor role. The resulting CM is usually referred to as the global CM of an organization. Likewise, the CM in which the kernel contains only elementary actor roles is called the detailed CM. The boundary divides the set of all (relevant) actor roles into the composition and the environment.

17. The Process Model

Abstract
The process model (PM) of an organization is the specification of the state space and the transition space of the C-world; thus, the set of lawful or possible or allowed sequences of states in the C-world. As we know from Chap. 10, this is to a large extent determined by the transaction pattern. Since every transition in the C-world consists of the creation of a C-result and since there is a one-to-one relationship between this C-result and the causing C-act, these C-acts are also contained in the PM. A C-result and its causing C-act are collectively called a process step. The PM specifies also for every process step the information used to perform the step. As a convenient addition, the PM duplicates the knowledge from the CM concerning which actor roles perform the C-acts. They are called responsibility areas (see Fig. 17.1).

18. The Action Model

Abstract
The action model (AM) is the most detailed and comprehensive aspect model. It is also atomic on the ontological level. Strictly speaking, the other three aspect models (PM, SM, and CM) are derived from the AM, although it is practically convenient to follow the sequence that we adopt. The AM of an organization consists of a set of action rules, each of which represents an action rule in the CRISP model, as discussed in Chap. 14. One should keep in mind, however, that action rules serve only as guidelines for an actor. Sometimes it might be necessary for an actor to deviate from an action rule. Ultimately, the actor is held responsible for his or her acting. In this chapter, the action rules for the library and the pizzeria are presented, grouped into the distinct actor roles.

19. The State Model

Abstract
The state model (SM) of an organization is the specification of the state space of the P-world. It consists of specifying the object classes, the fact types, and the result types, as well as the existential laws that hold. An SM is expressed in an Object Fact Diagram (OFD) and an Object Property List (OPL). The OPL is just a convenient way of specifying fact types that are proper (mathematical) functions, and of which the range is a set of values. One may as well specify them in an OFD, but that would make the OFD unnecessarily voluminous. The fact types in an OPL are called properties (of object classes). The OFD is fully based on the language WOSL (Chap. 5). Its legend is presented in Fig. 19.1 and 19.2.

20. The Interstriction Model

Abstract
The interstriction model (ISM) constitutes the ‘right hand side’ of the CM (see Fig. 15.1). It is expressed in the Actor Bank Diagram (ABD) and the Bank Contents Table (BCT). Figure 20.1 exhibits the legend of the ABD.

Backmatter

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