Through one of its researchers, M-ITI is represented at the: (1) Enterprise Engineering Institute (EEI) based in the Netherlands, focused on the management of modeling standards in organizational engineering; and (2) the international network “CIAO! Enterprise Engineering Network“.
These networks aggregate a community of academics and practitioners who strive to contribute to the development of the discipline of Enterprise Engineering (EE) and to apply it in practice. The aim is to develop a holistic and general systems theory-based understanding of how to (re)design and run enterprises effectively.
The ambition of these researchers is to develop a consistent and coherent set of theories, models and associated methods that: enable enterprises to reflect, in a systematic way, on how to realize improvements; and assist them, in practice, in achieving their aspirations.
In doing so, sound empirical and scientific foundations should underlie all efforts and all organizational aspects that are relevant should be considered, while combining already existing knowledge from the scientific fields of information systems, software engineering, management, as well as philosophy, semiotics, and sociology, among others.
In other words, the (re)design of an enterprise and the subsequent implementation of changes should be the consequence of rationalized decisions that: take into account the nature and reality of the enterprise and its environment; and respect relevant empirical and scientific principles.
Enterprises are taken to be systems whose reality has a dual nature by being, on one hand, centrally and purposefully (re)designed; and, on the other hand, emergent in a distributed way, given the fact that its main agents, the humans that are the ‘pearls’ of the organization, act with free will, in a creative and responsible (or sometimes not) way.
We acknowledge that, in practice, the development of enterprises is not always a purely rational/evidence-based process. As such, we believe the field of EE aims to provide evidence-based insights into the design and evolution of enterprises and the consequences of different choices irrespective of the way decisions are made.
The origin of the scientific foundations of our present body of knowledge is the CIAO! Paradigm (Communication, Information, Action, Organization) as expressed in our Enterprise Engineering Manifesto and the paper: The Discipline of Enterprise Engineering. In this paradigm, the organization is considered to emerge in human communication, through the intermediate roles of information and action. Based on the CIAO! Paradigm, several theories have been developed, and still are being proposed. Those are published as technical reports.
The EEI promotes and maintains the modeling standard DEMO (Design and Engineering Methodology for Organizations) that follows our published theories and has been used in practice in many projects all over the world.
M-ITI’s Enterprise Engineering Lab, in the context of several research projects funded by regional, national and European funds, as well as undergraduate, master and doctoral projects, has been applying EE modeling techniques in institutions based in Madeira and developing a tool that allows representation (in the DEMO language) of models of processes, workflows, responsibilities, interfaces, facts and information ontology, roles, organizational functions, and associated agents.