Enterprise architecture management (EAM) has long been propagated in research and practice as an approach for keeping local information systems projects in line with enterprise-wide, long-term objectives. EAM literature predominantly promotes strictly governed and centralized coordination mechanisms to achieve the promised alignment contributions. Notwithstanding the increasing maturity levels in practice, organizations still struggle with the successful establishment of EAM, mainly due to the inherent challenges of a firmly centralized approach in complex organizational settings. This study opts for cooperative learning as a theoretical lens to afford a distinctive, non-centralized conceptualization of EAM. We empirically demonstrate EAM as a stage-wise learning process in which knowledge acquisition and cooperative interactions among individuals contribute to project performance on the local level. Projects that benefit from this particular learning process, in turn, are found to significantly leverage enterprise-wide performance.
As a result of growing complexities in business processes, information systems, and the technical infrastructure, a key challenge for enterprise architecture management (EAM) is to guide stakeholders from different hierarchical levels with heterogeneous concerns. EA deliverables, such as models or frameworks, are often highly comprehensive and standardized. However, these can hardly be applied without greater adaption. Although the literature selectively covers approaches for tailoring EA deliverables closer to the concerns of affected stakeholders, these approaches are often vague or not very differentiated. In the paper at hand, we aim at introducing a stakeholder perspective to EAM research that considers stakeholder concerns on EAM across hierarchical levels. To this end, we conduct a case study: Our results show homogenous concerns among stakeholders on EA deliverables. In turn, we found different concerns on the role of EAM in applying these deliverables, dependent on the hierarchical level of stakeholders. These findings stress the necessity for a more differentiated understanding of stakeholder concerns on EAM. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings for an exemplary EAM approach.