Embracing Pragmatics

  • Marija Bjeković
  • Henderik A. Proper
  • Jean-Sébastien Sottet
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8824)


In enterprise modelling, we witness numerous efforts to predefine and integrate perspectives and concepts for modelling some problem area, which result in standardised modelling languages (e.g. BPMN, ArchiMate). The empirical observations however indicate that, in actual use, standardising and integrating effect of such modelling languages erodes, due to the need to accommodate specific modelling contexts. Instead of designing yet another mechanism to control this phenomena, we argue it should first be fundamentally understood. To account for the functioning of a modelling language in a socio-pragmatic context of modelling, we claim it is necessary to go beyond a normative view often adopted in modelling language study. We present a developing explanatory theory as to why and how modelling languages are used in enterprise modelling. The explanatory theory relies on a conceptual framework on modelling developed as the critical synthesis of the existing theoretical work, and from the position of socio-pragmatic constructivism.


Model modelling language language use pragmatics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Anaby-Tavor, A., Amid, D., Fisher, A., Bercovici, A., Ossher, H., Callery, M., Desmond, M., Krasikov, S., Simmonds, I.: Insights into enterprise conceptual modeling. Data Knowl. Eng. 69(12), 1302–1318 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bannert, M.: Managing cognitive load-recent trends in cognitive load theory. Learning and Instruction 12, 139–146 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bézivin, J.: On the unification power of models. SoSym 4(2), 171–188 (2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bjeković, M., Proper, H.A., Sottet, J.-S.: Enterprise Modelling Languages - Just Enough Standardisation? In: Shishkov, B. (ed.) BMSD 2013. LNBIP, vol. 173, pp. 1–23. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bjeković, M., Proper, H.A.: Challenges of modelling landscapes: Pragmatics swept under the carpet? In: Third International Symposium, BMSD, pp. 11–22 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bommel, P.V., Hoppenbrouwers, S., Proper, H., Roelofs, J.: Concepts and Strategies for Quality of Modeling. In: Innovations in Inf. Syst. Modeling. IGI Publishing (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bubenko Jr., J.A., Persson, A., Stirna, J.: An Intentional Perspective on Enterprise Modeling. In: Intentional Perspectives on Information Systems Engineering, pp. 215–237. Springer (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chiprianov, V., Alloush, I., Kermarrec, Y., Rouvrais, S.: Telecommunications Service Creation: Towards Extensions for Enterprise Architecture Modeling Languages. ICSOFT (1), 23–28 (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cienki, A.: Frames, Idealized Cognitive Models, and Domains. In: Geeraerts, D., Cuyckens, H. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, pp. 170–187. Oxford University Press (2010)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Clark, H.: Arenas of Language Use. University of Chicago Press (1993)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cruse, A.: Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics. Oxford University Press (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Falkenberg, E.D., Hesse, W., Lindgreen, P., Nilsson, B.E., Oei, J., Rolland, C., Stamper, R., Van Assche, F., Verrijn-Stuart, A., Voss, K.: FRISCO - A Framework of Information System Concepts. Technical report, IFIP WG 8.1 (1998)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fernández, H.F., Palacios-González, E., García-Díaz, V., Pelayo, G., Bustelo, B.C., Sanjuán Martínez, O., Cueva Lovelle, J.M.: SBPMN – An Easier Business Process Modeling Notation for Business Users. Computer Standards & Interfaces 32(1), 18–28 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Frank, U.: Evaluating Modelling Languages: Relevant Issues, Epistemological Challenges and a Preliminary Research Framework. Technical Report 15, University Koblenz-Landau, Germany (1998)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Frank, U.: Towards a Pluralistic Conception of Research Methods in Information Systems Research. Technical Report ICB-Research Report No.7, University Duisburg-Essen (2006) (revised version)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Geeraerts, D., Cuyckens, H. (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Oxford University Press (2010)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gordijn, J., Akkermans, H.: Value based requirements engineering: Exploring innovative e-commerce ideas. Requirements Engineering Journal 8(2), 114–134 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gregor, S.: The nature of theory in information systems. MIS Quarterly 30(3), 611–642 (2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hevner, A.R.: The three cycle view of design science. SJIS 19(2) (2007)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S., Wilmont, I.: Focused Conceptualisation: Framing Questioning and Answering in Model-Oriented Dialogue Games. In: van Bommel, P., Hoppenbrouwers, S., Overbeek, S., Proper, E., Barjis, J. (eds.) PoEM 2010. LNBIP, vol. 68, pp. 190–204. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S., Proper, H., Reijswoud, V.V.: Navigating the Methodology Jungle – The communicative role of modelling techniques in information system development. Computing Letters 1(3) (2005)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S.J.B.A., Proper, H.A(E.), van der Weide, T.P.: A Fundamental View on the Process of Conceptual Modeling. In: Delcambre, L.M.L., Kop, C., Mayr, H.C., Mylopoulos, J., Pastor, Ó. (eds.) ER 2005. LNCS, vol. 3716, pp. 128–143. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Iacob, M.E., Jonkers, H., Lankhorst, M., Proper, H., Quartel, D.: ArchiMate 2.0 Specification. The Open Group (2012)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Karagiannis, D., Höfferer, P.: Metamodels in Action: An overview. In: ICSOFT (1) (2006)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kaschek, R.: A semantic analysis of shared references. In: Ng, W., Storey, V.C., Trujillo, J.C. (eds.) ER 2013. LNCS, vol. 8217, pp. 88–95. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kimelman, D., Hirschman, K.: A Spectrum of Flexibility-Lowering Barriers to Modeling Tool Adoption. In: ICSE FlexiTools Workshop (2011)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kort, C., Gordjin, J.: Modeling Strategic Partnerships Using the e3value Ontology: A Field Study in the Banking Industry. In: Handbook of Ontologies for Business Interaction, pp. 310–325. IGI Global (2008)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lyytinen, K.: Ontological Foundations of Conceptual Modelling by Boris Wyssusek – a Critical Response. SJIS 18(1) (2006)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Malavolta, I., Lago, P., Muccini, H., Pelliccione, P., Tang, A.: What Industry Needs from Architectural Languages: A Survey. IEEE Trans. Soft. Eng. 39(6), 869–891 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Moody, D.: The “Physics” of Notations: Toward a Scientific Basis for Constructing Visual Notations in Software Engineering. IEEE Trans. Soft. Eng. 35(6), 756–779 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    OMG: UML 2.0 Superstructure Specification – Final Adopted Specification. Technical Report 03–08–02 (August 2003)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    OMG : Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), Version 2.0 (January 2011)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Proper, H.A., Verrijn-Stuart, A.A., Hoppenbrouwers, S.: On Utility-based Selection of Architecture-Modelling Concepts. In: APCCM 2005, pp. 25–34 (2005)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Recker, J.: Opportunities and constraints: the current struggle with BPMN. Business Proc. Manag. Journal 16(1), 181–201 (2010)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rittgen, P.: Negotiating models. In: Krogstie, J., Opdahl, A.L., Sindre, G. (eds.) CAiSE 2007. LNCS, vol. 4495, pp. 561–573. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rothenberg, J.: The Nature of Modeling. In: Artificial Intelligence, Simulation & Modeling, pp. 75–92. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA (1989)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Sandkuhl, K., Lillehagen, F.: The Early Phases of Enterprise Knowledge Modelling: Practices and Experiences from Scaffolding and Scoping. In: Stirna, J., Persson, A. (eds.) PoEM. LNBIP, vol. 15, pp. 1–14. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Schmid, H.J.: Entrenchment, Salience, and Basic Levels. In: Geeraerts, D., Cuyckens, H. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, pp. 117–138. Oxford University Press (2010)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Stachowiak, H.: Allgemeine Modelltheorie. Springer, Berlin (1973)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Stamper, R., Liu, K., Hafkamp, M., Ades, Y.: Understanding the roles of signs and norms in organizations - a semiotic approach to information systems design. Behaviour & Information Technology 19(1), 15–27 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Thalheim, B.: The Theory of Conceptual Models, the Theory of Conceptual Modelling and Foundations of Conceptual Modelling. In: Handbook of Conceptual Modeling, pp. 543–577. Springer (2011)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Thalheim, B.: Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics of Conceptual Modelling. In: Bouma, G., Ittoo, A., Métais, E., Wortmann, H. (eds.) NLDB 2012. LNCS, vol. 7337, pp. 1–10. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Tohidian, I.: Examining Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis as One of the Main Views on the Relationship Between Language and Thought. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 38(1), 65–74 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Tuggy, D.: Schematicity. In: Geeraerts, D., Cuyckens, H. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, pp. 82–116. Oxford University Press (2010)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    von Braun, H., Hesse, W., Andelfinger, U., Kittlaus, H.B., Scheschonk, G.: Conceptions are Social Constructs - Towards a Solid Foundation of the FRISCO Approach. In: ISCO, pp. 61–73 (1999)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Wand, Y., Weber, R.: On the deep structure of information systems. Inf. Syst. J. 5(3), 203–223 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Wilmont, I., Barendsen, E., Hoppenbrouwers, S., Hengeveld, S.: Abstract Reasoning in Collaborative Modeling. In: HICSS, pp. 170–179. IEEE Computer Society (2012)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Winograd, T., Flores, F.: Understanding Computers and Cognition - A New Foundation for Design. Ablex Publishing Corporation (1986)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Wyssusek, B.: Ontology and ontologies in information systems analysis and design: A critique. In: AMCIS, pp. 4303–4308 (2004)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Wyssusek, B., Schwartz, M., Kremberg, B.: The Philosophical Foundation of Conceptual Knowledge a Sociopragmatic Approach. In: Supplementary Proceedings of the 9th Int. Conf. on Conceptual Structures, pp. 189–192 (2001)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Wyssusek, B., Schwartz, M., Kremberg, B.: Targeting the Social: A Sociopragmatic Approach Towards Design and Use of Information Systems. In: Information Resources Management Association Int. Conf., pp. 832–835 (2002)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Wyssusek, B.: On Ontological Foundations of Conceptual Modelling. SJIS 18(1) (2006)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Yu, E.: Towards Modelling and Reasoning Support for Early-Phase Requirements Engineering. In: 3rd IEEE Int. Symposium on Req. Engineering, pp. 226–235 (1997)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Zarwin, Z., Bjeković, M., Favre, J.M., Sottet, J.S., Proper, H.: Natural modelling. Journal of Object Technology 13(3), 1–36 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Muehlen, M.z., Recker, J.: How Much Language Is Enough? Theoretical and Practical Use of the Business Process Modeling Notation. In: Bellahsène, Z., Léonard, M. (eds.) CAiSE 2008. LNCS, vol. 5074, pp. 465–479. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marija Bjeković
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Henderik A. Proper
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean-Sébastien Sottet
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Public Research Centre Henri TudorLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.EE-TeamLuxembourgLuxembourg

Personalised recommendations