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Understanding the “Root Architecture” of the Enterprise from a Teleological Approach

Conference paper
Authors Kalevi Pessi
Thanos Magoulas
William Michael Nsubuga
Aida Hadzic
Published in 9th European Conference on IS Management and Evaluation – ECIME 2015
Volume 36
Pages 170-179
ISBN 978-1-910810-56-9
ISSN 2048-8912
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 170-179
Language en
Keywords Enterprise Architecture, Root Architecture, Teleological Approach, Alignment
Subject categories Informatics


The primary purpose of Enterprise Architecture is to coordinate various efforts in order to achieve the planned or unplanned ends of an enterprise. This essential view is represented in the teleological frameworks that usually guide any architectural effort. The main purpose of this paper is to present the fundamentals underlying the development of a holistic teleological framework which, in a meaningful and understandable way, should be used in the future to demonstrate the limitations of current Enterprise Architectural Frameworks in order to understand their undesired consequences. Our current research addresses terms such as goals and objectives, purposes, visions, and missions as well as the demands and expectations of stakeholders. We call such a composite idea “Root architecture”. By this way, the Root architecture of an enterprise is an undivided part of Enterprise Architecture. Therefore, we define the purpose of an Enterprise Architecture as consisting of the extrinsic and intrinsic relationships between the core teleological ideas given above. The primary focus of this study is to elucidate the idea of Root Architecture in order to address the differences or similarities among the current Enterprise Architecture frameworks from a teleological perspective. Our logic of inquiry consists of searching and reviewing literature for architecting the domain of root architecture as well as transforming the existing models into a complete teleological framework. Lastly, we verify the validity and reliability of such transformation through real cases. The results of our study reveal that the Root Architecture of an Enterprise makes sense through the application of the following three essential principles: i) The principle of mutual supportiveness, ii) the principle of harmonizing stakeholders’ contradictory worldviews with their shared core-purpose, and iii) the principle of aligning global strategic goals with local action. We can conclude that the Root Architecture provides a fundamental ground for teleological completeness from a holistic perspective. Such completeness is required by the Enterprise Architecture frameworks in order to direct the management of proactive and innovative development of the enterprise towards obtaining both operational excellence and unique strategic outcomes.

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