A Systemic-Discursive Framework for Enterprise Architecture

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This article examines, through a case study of an Australian government agency, the systemic and discursive properties of Enterprise Architecture adoption in a government enterprise. Through the lens of Luhmann’s generalised systems theory of communication, the authors argue that the manner in which organisational communication is organised throughout the Enterprise Architecture adoption process has a noticeable impact on successful implementation. Two important conclusions are made: Firstly, successful Enterprise Architecture adoption demands sustainable resonance of Enterprise Architecture as a discourse communicated in the enterprise. Secondly, misunderstanding and reshaping Enterprise Architecture as a management discourse is an inherent premise for high quality adoption. The authors propose a new theoretical model, the Enterprise Communication Ecology, as a metaphor for the communicative processes that precede, constrain, and shape Enterprise Architecture implementations. As a result, Enterprise Architecture as a discipline must adopt a systemic-discursive framework in order to fully understand and improve the quality of Enterprise Architecture management programs.


Enterprise Architecture, Systems Thinking, Viable System Model, Australian e-government, e-government

About the authors

Anders Jensen-Waud is a senior consultant and enterprise architect working for Capgemini in Sydney, Australia. Anders has ingoing business consulting and architecture experience across mining, utilities, oil & gas, defence, and government. His research interests include systems thinking, second order cybernetics, government enterprise architecture, and e-government.

Dr. John Gøtze is program manager at the IT University of Copenhagen and lecturer at Copenhagen Business School. He is also CEO of EA Fellows and runs Carnegie Mellon University’s EA Certification program in Europe.


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