Making Sense of Enterprise Architectures as Tools of Organizational Self-Awareness

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Rodrigo Magalhaes, Marielba Zacarias, Jose Tibolet


This article builds on the capability of enterprise architectures (EAs) to define the organization’s systems development environment but places special emphasis on their power as communication tools. The concept of Organizational Self-Awareness (OSA) is offered as the contextual framework for the discussion. OSA is a process which involves, firstly, the efforts of the individual organizational member in getting to know his/her work environment, through sense-making. Sense-making is influenced by a number of factors, some related to the individual’s psychological makeup, others related to the individual’s work environment. EAs can play a relevant role in sense-making. From activity theory the article highlights the process of consciousness formation in human beings as well as the mediating artifacts that shape an constrain the acquisition, accumulation and development of knowledge and self-knowledge. Among the many mediating artifacts in the work environment EAs are a special type. EAs are also boundary objects due to their organizational sense-making. The article concludes that the design and use of EAs can play a crucial role in the formation of a collective mind about the state of the organizational processes and therefore about the state of the organization.

Journal of Enterprise Architecture

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