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Organizational Culture and the influence on Enterprise Architecture

by Douwe Pieter van den Bos on May 16, 2012 · 1 comment

When looking into the topic of Enterprise Architecture it’s a common mistake that it is only about the rational element of change within an organisation. Enterprise culture and the will to change cannot be forgotten in the equation.

The past few weeks we’ve been talking about the maturity of Service-Oriented Architecture and creating Roadmaps in order to become more mature. In all the models that we’ve discussed organizational culture is not part of the measurement.


In fact, a quick google action learned me that most articles on the web are about creating cultural change within an organization using Enterprise Architecture. So, it seems to be a goal, not a means. In my opinion that’s strange. When looking at organizations and the way they are build, the way they are created, culture is one of the main aspect. Because Enterprise Architecture is about building organizations, it should be about culture as well. It has to be.
Any organization has it’s own culture. And this is a good thing. An organization might not want to mature as much as some models make us believe.

For example, why would a young, creative and fast growing department in a company want to mature in a way that they use the same processes as an older and far more formalised department?

In some organisations departemental competition is even part of their culture. Why change this if it’s a typical cultural aspect of a company?

I don’t know how cultural aspect should be embedded within architectural frameworks, but it seems like a good idea. Any thoughts?

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