Adaptive Enterprise Architecture for the Future: Towards a Reconceptualization of EA

Janne J. Korhonen, James Lapalme, Doug McDavid, Asif Q. Gill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In some conventional definitions, Enterprise Architecture (EA) is conceived as a descriptive overview of the enterprise, while in other views EA is seen as a prescriptive framework of principles and models that helps translate business strategy to enterprise change. The conceptualizations of EA also vary in scope. There is an increasing recognition of EA as a systemic, enterprise-wide capability encompassing all relevant facets of the organization, transcending the traditional IT-centric view. However, we argue that none of the conventional conceptualizations of EA are adaptive in the face of today's complex environment. We view that an adaptive EA must go beyond a single organization and fully appreciate enterprise-in-environment ecosystemic perspective. Drawing on the heritage of Open Socio-Technical Systems Design and adopting the 'three schools of thought' as a meta-paradigmatic backdrop, the paper features four different views of long-time scholar-practitioners, who discuss what an adaptive enterprise architecture would entail. Integration of these views paints a radically reconceptualized picture of enterprise architecture for the future. With this paper, we want to lay a foundation for a debate on the need for alternative conceptualizations, manifestations and research agenda for enterprise architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - CBI 2016: 18th IEEE Conference on Business Informatics
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781509032310
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventIEEE International Conference on Business Informatics - Paris, France
Duration: 29 Aug 20161 Sept 2016
Conference number: 18


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Business Informatics
Abbreviated titleCBI


  • adaptation
  • adaptive enterprise architecture
  • conceptualization
  • enterprise ecological adaptation
  • maladaptation


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