Focus

Enterprise engineering
We view organisations as constellations of socio-cyber-physical actors, involving humans, animals, software and machines. Organisations may (jointly) undertake enterprises (a systematic purposeful activity). The EE Network focuses on the engineering of such enterprises, while covering the entire so-called "Business-to-IT stack".

"[T]he creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and property."
In line with this general definition, we define enterprise engineering as the general term for an engineering based approach to design or evolve enterprises:
The creative application of scientific-principles to design or develop enterprises, or parts/aspects thereof; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and property.

Enterprise engineering considers enterprises as a purposefully constructed artefact, combining the above definition of engineering with the design and creation of enterprises

Informed design
We do not claim that enterprises, and organisations in particular, are purely engineered. Culture, politics, and human behaviour in general, have a strong influence on the way organisations, and their enterprises, actually take shape. Rather, the researchers of the EE Network, aim to support the underlying decision making processes by enabling them through informed decision making. At the same time, we acknowledge the fact that in real-life such design decisions are not always made in accordance with the information available.
Therefore, we identify two main perspective on the research within the larger enterprise engineering discipline:
  1. Enterprises as purposefully designed artefacts. We see it as essential to develop the means to rationally reason about the design of an enterprise (across the "Business-to-IT stack"). We see this as the engineering "core" of the enterprise engineering discipline.
  2. Enterprises as the result of social interaction. From this perspective, enterprises are understood as being the result of social actors (humans) interacting and reaching (be it through "force", conviction or consensus) a shared understanding of its structures/design. Within the domain of social sciences, one might refer to this as organisational design.
Similarly to the CIAO! network on enterprise engineering, we regard it as the mission of the discipline of Enterprise Engineering to develop new, appropriate theories, models, methods and other artifacts for the analysis, design, implementation, evolution and governance of enterprises by combining (relevant parts of) management and organisational science, information systems science, and computer science.