Seeking to Control Enterprise with Architecture: the Limits and Value of an Engineering Approach From the Perspective of an Enterprise Architect [article]

Mikkel Brahm, UH Research Archive, UH Research Archive
In this thesis, I challenge assumptions underlying my discipline of enterprise architecture that led to two choices facing practitioners: either to work with tools and techniques which predict and control changes towards predetermined ends or to accept informal processes that are unpredictable and wasteful. Orthodox enterprise architecture defines an enterprise as an organisation, which is a system, and prescribes methods that seek to provide control over the transformation of an organisation
more » ... to a desired state of affairs by achieving complete knowledge of the system before initiating the desired transformation. Drawing on complexity sciences, I offer a different perspective on organisation and claim that organising what we do is an aspect of doing what we do. Organising is process. I furthermore claim that the people who are organising what we do can act spontaneously and surprise both themselves and others, but often they act habitually. Habitual ways of acting allow us to anticipate to some extent how others are likely to respond to us and, as we grow up, we learn how to behave ourselves, that is, how to adjust our behaviour to what we judge socially acceptable to increase the likelihood of being able to garner support and collaboration. I posit that social control is exercised in this way as mutual self-adjustment that forms what is normal and valued conduct. In other words, our shared social norms and values thus paradoxically and simultaneously form individuals and their conduct and are formed by individuals and their conduct. I claim that in this way we have partial, but never full, knowledge of how others generally respond to certain behaviour of ours. We can ever have only partial knowledge of that which is—in the words of Mannheim—in the process of becoming. I therefore reject the central assumptions upon which orthodox enterprise architecture is based. In organisations, we engineer and exploit mechanical mechanisms that can conduct certain action more effectively and efficiently than people can. Mate [...]
doi:10.18745/th.17596 fatcat:4dqkqapelbgcpco3zjy63btlku