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Ontological Foundation

  • Jan A. P. Hoogervorst
Chapter
Part of the The Enterprise Engineering Series book series (TEES)

Abstract

Reflections about the ontological foundation probe into the nature of society and subsequently into the nature of enterprises. The chapter shows how certain social theories have dominated and shaped perspectives on society and in turn on enterprises, inevitably leading to enterprise mechanization. Important concepts that capture the essence of society and enterprises are thereby largely ignored with detrimental consequences. Unlike the mechanistic perspective with its associated deterministic essence, the chapter stresses the importance of acknowledging and understanding emergence: the occurrence of unpredictable, novel phenomena in social and enterprise reality. Core sources and forces of those phenomena are outlined, as well as their profound implications for conceptualizing society and enterprises. Subsequent to outlining the conceptual model of society, the conceptual model of enterprises will be introduced, which reflects the essential facets of enterprises, aids in understanding emergence, and enables coherent and consistent enterprise design as a vital condition for adequate enterprise operational and strategic performance. Implications of the ontological foundation for enterprise governance and enterprise engineering will be sketched.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan A. P. Hoogervorst
    • 1
  1. 1.BennebroekThe Netherlands

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