Foundational Insights for Enterprise Change and Enterprise Design Summarized

  • Jan A. P. Hoogervorst
Part of the The Enterprise Engineering Series book series (TEES)


Any sound design science is firmly rooted in associated foundational sciences. For example, the theory for designing antennas is firmly rooted in the theory of electromagnetic waves. For enterprises, the foundational insights were outlined in our accompanying publication. This chapter provides a brief summary. The starting point is the philosophical foundation which, among other topics, concerns beliefs about reality and the justifications whereupon the beliefs are based. Various viewpoints about truth and knowledge are presented, whereby the dominant mechanistic and deterministic worldview is explained. The chapter briefly resumes how this worldview has eliminated meaning and morality and, moreover, has eliminated attention for the very essences of human existence, precisely the essences that are crucial for understanding society and enterprises. Alternative viewpoints expressing these essences are resumed.

An important facet of the foundational insights is formed by the ontological foundation concerning the nature of society and enterprises. Based on a brief summary of theories of society, various organization theories are summarized. The dominant mechanistic perspective will be clarified as well as the needed alternative perspective for properly understanding the essence of organizing. After presenting a conceptual model of society, an enterprise conceptual model is introduced for comprehending the essential characteristics of enterprises.

Because no enterprise design is possible without implicitly or explicitly applying ideological viewpoints, the last part of this chapter resumes the ideological foundation for enterprise governance and enterprise engineering. Specific attention is paid to arguing the employee-centric theory of organization. Finally, the chapter summarizes the implications of the philosophical, ontological, and ideological foundations for enterprise governance and enterprise engineering.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan A. P. Hoogervorst
    • 1
  1. 1.BennebroekThe Netherlands

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