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Organization Modeling: Innovative Architectures for the 21st Century

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Organization Modeling: Innovative Architectures for the 21st Century


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JOSEPH MORABITO holds a Ph.D. in Information Management and has done extensive research and publishing in enterprise architectures, business process design, and information modeling. He consults to a wide variety of organizations. He is a contributing author of Information Modeling (Prentice Hall PTR, 199).

IRA SACK holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Computer Science and has published several papers on information modeling, organization theory, and the business foundations of e-commerce.

ANILKUMAR BHATE consults in the areas of technology and product development, engineering design, and quality assurance. He has published numerous papers on information modeling and culture.


  • Copyright 1999
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 300
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-257552-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-257552-2


The revolutionary guide to architecting your entire organization!

  • Modeling your entire organization for maximum effectiveness
  • Architecture-in-the-large and architecture-in-the-small
  • Harnessing tacit knowledge and learning
  • Practical guidelines for implementing your models

Now, go beyond modeling your software and your processes: model your entire organization for maximum competitive advantage. Organization Modeling: Innovative Architectures for the 21st Century introduces the revolutionary discipline of object-oriented organization modeling, combining today's most sophisticated approaches to IT modeling with the latest advances in organization and management frameworks. Discover powerful new tools for modeling-and transforming-your organization's environment, goals, processes, information and knowledge resources, structure, technology, even culture. Coverage includes:

  • Why it's dangerous to think of today's IT models as "business models"
  • How to create and align small-scale "organization molecules" into effective enterprise-wide architectures
  • Envisioning organizational patterns
  • Integrating data, knowledge, and information

Whether you're an executive, IT planner, analyst, software professional, or student of management, if you want to improve your organization's effectiveness, you finally have a disciplined, systematic framework for doing so: Organization Modeling.

Sample Content

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0132575523.pdf

Table of Contents

 1. Organization Modeling.


 2. An Introduction and Critique of Organization Theory.
 3. Designing Organizations.
 4. A New Approach to Organization Modeling.
 5. The Layered Organization.
 6. Organization Molecules.
 7. Aligning Organization Molecules.
 8. The OM Design Process.
 9. Organizational Patterns.


10. Directionality and Culture.
11. Process Formulation.
12. Data, Knowledge, and Information.
13. Knowledge Formulation.
14. The 21st Century Learning Organization.
Appendix A: Brief Review of Information Modeling.



Organization Modeling (OM) is all about architecting organizations. Architecting the organization entails understanding, analyzing, designing, and communicating the most relevant parts of the organization and how they fit together. In this book, we provide an innovative framework that models organizational constructs with analytical discipline. We draw on organization theory (OT) to identify organizational components and their relationships, and use information modeling (borrowed from the computer software field) as a structuring mechanism. The result is a revolutionary, yet simple and effective, paradigm for crafting organizational architecture.

Organizations succeed, or fail, as a whole. No single ingredient — strategy, information, process, people, structure, or culture — is solely accountable for organizational success or failure. Competitive advantage accrues to those corporations whose managers analyze and shape their respective organizations: the whole, each of its parts, the relationships of the parts, and how the whole and its parts change. This book gives managers a language to structure and change organizations. This is the first work of its kind.

Managers are becoming architects. Their new roles include designing structure, engineering processes, developing people, leveraging information technology, facilitating learning, and changing the whole. The manager-architect has an arduous task: He or she must design across organizational boundaries, engineer processes into strategic capabilities, develop individual competencies into a learning organization, align information technology with business strategy, and integrate the disparate pieces that constitute the organization so that the "theory of the business" is practiced every day. Successful organizations have manager-architects who practice a disciplined approach to both analysis and design. This book guides managers in developing the art and skill of architecting organizations.

Our fundamental premise is that the wealth of organizational research and literature may be given the structure required for creating architecture. We start with organization theory (OT) and identify core organizational constructs: environment, power, strategy, process, information, human, structure, and tool. We further identify derivative management philosophies (e.g., learning and culture) in terms of the core constructs. Both core organizational constructs and derivative management philosophies are the materials with which we create an organization model. We shall refer to these materials collectively as organizational constructs.

Our second premise is that organizational constructs may be framed with behavior. By specifying behavior among constructs, we arrive at a semantic understanding of their relationships. Behavior is specified with a design mechanism known as a contract. Using behavior for understanding organizations resolves the problem of associating constructs with dissimilar structural properties, such as organizational structure and business processes. It is only during implementation that behavior is operationalized in the form of structure. The semantic association between organizational constructs is the glue of organization modeling.

This book brings together what previously have been the unrelated domains of OT and information modeling. Organizations are extraordinarily complex, yet disappointingly, their analysis is undisciplined. By undisciplined, we mean that no formal framework exists by which individual research efforts may be consistently integrated. Organizational problems are more easily understood with an architecture framed with a disciplined approach to modeling.Another motivation for this book is the need to provide a meaningful alternative to the current — incorrect and damaging — trend to think of information technology (IT) related models as business models. For example, a business class is an object-oriented software element whose advantage over a traditional software element is the greater organizational alignment it produces. However, the business class is unrelated to the models required for organizational analysis. For example, business process transformation requires a business process model, whose specifications derive from organizational, and not IT, literature. Therefore, for correct and meaningful analysis and design, a formal framework for organizational research is required. OM is our choice for that framework.

Because it is likely that the reader will be familiar with either OT or information modeling, but not both, we present a brief overview of each. However, we assume a certain level of familiarity with organizational literature. In contrast, information modeling is relatively new. Though we present a dense modeling tutorial in the Appendix, the novice is referred to several books: in particular, Information Modeling by Kilov and Ross, and the more recent Business Specifications by Kilov.

Organization Modeling: Innovative Architectures for the 21st Century is intended for students of business, management, and information management. This includes graduate students and faculty in business, management, and information management programs. The intended business audience consists of managers and practitioners involved in organizational analysis and design. It is expected that the reader is interested in something more than a mere overview of organizations. The material we present is concept-rich and requires more than a casual interest. To facilitate understanding, we include many examples and, of course, a fair number of diagrams that illustrate the concepts. We believe professionals want and require a sufficient level of detail to solve organizational problems.

OM provides business professionals with a road map which assists them to arrive at an architectural prescription for their organizations. We introduce the concept of an architectural building block known as an organization molecule. Molecules are arrangements of organizational constructs that facilitate focused analysis of a specific class of business problem. For the manager engaged in a given business-level activity, we provide a corresponding organization molecule. For example, business process change is supported with the molecule known as a process molecule.

Molecules are derived from organizational research but framed with information modeling concepts to facilitate understanding, analysis, and design. Representative molecules are introduced: process, information, and culture, among others. We provide guidelines for managers to design an architecture and corresponding molecules that best fit their organizational needs. Molecules have the property of abstraction, facilitating varying levels of analysis. Accordingly, OM uniformizes — as opposed to standardizes — the organizational processes of strategic planning, process change (e.g., business transformation and improvement), structural design, knowledge management, and organizational learning, among others.

Similarly, to the IT professional, we provide a framework for analyzing and implementing data, information, and knowledge in a particular context, such as a business process. In our framework, IT and business strategy are complementary concepts — IT is crafted to fit a particular organization's strategy, process, and culture. This means that business analysis in the 21st century will be very different from what is currently the case. It must include several domains, such as business process analysis, data and knowledge, culture, learning, and so on.

This is the first book to create a coherent formalism for the manager-architect. OM is a rich tapestry that weaves together organizational and IT concepts.


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