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Über dieses Buch

The key aim of the volume of original papers on the theory and practice of ODE featured in Organization Design and Engineering is to contribute towards overcoming the academic challenges stated above. A secondary aim is to launch the debate about ODE, including whether or not the debate itself is warranted.



Introducing the Volume

Introducing the Volume

This volume heralds a new era in the way that we look at organizations. Up to now organization was the province of social scientists, including management and business academics. Although a very substantial part of the functioning of any organization now depends on various areas of information systems engineering, computer science has not had a significant say on the phenomenon of organization. By giving a voice to the engineers and pointing the way toward more and better integration between organization design (OD) and organization engineering (OE), this book marks the shift from the old to the new era.

Rodrigo Magalhàes

Strategizing ODE


1. The Unifying Role of Enterprise Engineering

Fortunately, many enterprises2 are led by leaders with great ideas about improving the enterprises they lead. It is one thing to know what you want to change but it is quite another thing to bring about the change. A fundamental problem with any wish to change a system is that it is mostly expressed in functional terms. A functional change, however, can only be effectuated by some modification of the system’s construction (Note: by “system” we mean any kind of system, so also enterprises). As this chapter shows, the failures of enterprise changes are almost always the consequence of the lack of attention to the need for “engineering” the change. That is what the above maxim wants to convey.

J. L. G. Dietz, J. A. P. Hoogervorst

2. Organization Design and Engineering for Dynamic Fit: Toward Analytic Principles, Methods and Tools

Fit has long represented a central concept in organization design (Burns and Stalker, 1961; Donaldson, 2001; Lawrence andLorsch, 1967; Lawrence and Lorsch, 1986; Woodward, 1965). But, both research and practice alike maintain a static focus on fit, a focus that is incommensurate with the fundamentally dynamic nature of organizations and their environ- ments (Nissen and Burton, 2011). Organization designs need to address the dynamic fit, and the corresponding organizations need to be engi- neered to establish and maintain such a fit — proactively and reactively alike — over time and through both planned and unplanned change.

Mark E. Nissen

3. An Explanatory Framework of the Dynamics of Organization Design and Engineering (ODE)

Recalling a statement from the Call for Chapters at the origin of the present edited volume, contributors were invited to consider that one of the key obstacles standing in the way of a fuller integration between organization design (OD) and organization engineering (OE) was the relative neglect of the dynamics of the problem. What this means is that in much of both the OD and the OE literatures, the organization and its processes are treated as static entities that are represented by equally static models. This chapter is aimed at presenting a set of proposals that hopefully will open up the way to a new and integrated view of organi- zation design and engineering (ODE). A definition of ODE as the study of the socio-material entanglement of the design of organizations and theengineering of computer-based artifacts (Magalhàes and Silva, 2009) serves as my starting point.

Rodrigo Magalhàes

Implementing ODE


4. A Framework for Evidence-Based and Inductive Design

Organized systems can be studied from two fundamentally different perspectives. The descriptive perspective aims at analyzing, explaining, and/or at least partially predicting the behaviors of organizations and organization actors as empirical phenomena. This perspective domi- nates in the social sciences. Examples from the domain of organization sciences are studies that explain why certain organization solutions are less or more successful than others under specific circumstances. Such “causal” explanations may or may not include predictions of success.

Robert Winter

5. Exploring the Potential of the Axiomatic Approach for Organization Design

Organizational theory has grown into a broad field of inquiry that encompasses multiple disciplinary perspectives. A number of important theories have been developed during the past decades to understand organizations by using explanations based in psychology sociology political science, and economics. There are a number of journals that publish theoretical and empirical research in the field. Organization theory has also become a required course in both undergraduate and graduate programs at most business schools.

Nicolay Worren

ODE for Organizational Awareness and Knowledge


6. Organizational Self-Awareness: A Matter of Value

This chapter aims at clarifying the notion of organization se If-awareness (OSA) as the state of a collective awareness of the enterprise system. We examine how such awareness arises from the collective action of the enterprise’s agents, while applying principles and methods of enterprise engineering and enterprise architecture. We find that value modeling is a vital enabler of OSA while bridging the gap between the teleological and ontological views of an enterprise.

José Tribolet, João Pombinho, David Aveiro

7. Structural Couplings of Organizational Design and Organizational Engineering

The theory of autopoiesis, which is less known to both organizational design and organizational engineering (ODE) practice, is a theory of complex, non-linear, autonomous, and especially living systems that found its way from biology through the social sciences to organization theory and information systems (Schatten and Baca, 2010). Autopoiesis, a pseudo Greek word that comes from avro (auto — self), and noir\oiç (poiesis — a “making,” the process of forming, creation, or production), was introduced by the Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela in 1973 (Maturana and Varela, 1973) to label the type of phenomenon which they had identified as the definitive characteristic of living systems (Whitaker, 2001). Autopoietic, or living in contrast to alopoietic, systems are systems that produce the network of processes that produced them.

Markus Schatten

8. Using Ontologies for Integrated Knowledge Management in Organization Design and Engineering

Knowledge management (KM) can be defined as “identifying and leveraging the collective knowledge in an organization to help the organization compete” (Alavi and Leidner, 2001). Knowledge is often considered the most valuable resource in any organization (Teece, 1998) because the expertise and innovative capacities of employees represent the only resource that cannot be copied and is unique to the employees and their interactions to create intellectual synergies. Therefore, the ability to effectively capture, organize, and disseminate this knowledge to the people who need it is crucial to the success and competitive advantage of the firm, and it requires a sound foundation. Knowledge management has been considered to be essentially about purposeful actions carried out inside an entity to manage its capabilities with the aim of accomplishing its objectives (Holsapple and Joshi, 2004).

Miguel-Angel Sicilia, Miltiadis Lytras, Nory Jones

Educating for ODE


9. Preparing Future IST Professionals for ODE: An Examination of Courses in IST Degree Programs

The information system and technology (1ST) scholarly field emerged during the 1960s with the establishment of academic degree programs and research centers focusing on the use of computers to support management — particularly management information systems -MIS.

João Álvaro Carvalho, Luís Amaral, Rui Dinis Sousa


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